As if the cold temperatures, wind, rain and short days weren’t enough to have to deal with over winter, pale skin that has barely seen the light of day doesn’t help. Don’t use this as an excuse to hit the tanning beds though! Fake tans have the ability to either give you the look of a healthy sun-kissed glow, or turn you into an orange oompa loompa. But fear not!
Here are our top six tips to help you get a natural-looking faux tan over the colder months.
In the days leading up to your self tan application, moisturise your skin well; especially in the typically dry areas such as the elbows and knees to help prevent them soaking up too much tanning product.
2. Exfoliation and hair removal
For the same reason as above, exfoliate your skin – especially those same dry areas – to reduce the outer layer of dead skin cells. This will not only help give you a more even tan, but also help it to last longer as the tanning product will be absorbed into the newer layer of skin you have brought to the surface.
If you need to shave or wax, ensure you do this in the days leading up to your tanning application, leaving enough time to moisture your skin and let it calm down prior to applying the fake tan.
Drink plenty of water to keep your skin plump and hydrated. We often get too caught up with applying moisturisers to the outside of our skin, forgetting that we can also moisturise from the inside out!
4. Product selection
This is more important than you may think. If you’re just after a light glow that looks like you’ve had a hint of summer, a daily gradual tan moisturiser that slowly adds colour over time could be a good option for you (this is usually a good option if you’re concerned about streaks or lines as the colour difference is so gradual you likely won’t see any mishaps).
If you want more than this and you’re fairly adept at handling beauty products and think you can apply a tanning product to your body without too much trouble, you could opt for a darker home tanning treatment such as a mousse or cream.
If you think giving yourself a fake tan is a bad idea, look into a service that does spray tans. These are usually pretty quick and easy. You may be given options such as a violet, blue or green-based tan. Don’t be horrified by the sound of purple skin! Different bases are suited to different skin colours (choosing the wrong base for your skin tone may result in problems such as a drab-looking tan or a carrot-orange tan). There is no set rule to what looks good, however, green is typically a safe bet. Violet is generally good for olive skin, and charcoals are often good for darker skin.
5. Prep properly; spread evenly
If you’re doing a spray tan or using a similar aerosol-based product at home, moisturise the palms of your hands and bottoms of your feet (taking care not to get it anywhere else on your body). This will prevent you from getting staining on these areas and help you to get the tanning product off if you do happen to get it on these areas.
Also to that effect, make sure you use the self-tanner everywhere else on your body to avoid odd-looking ‘bare’ patches. Go light with product application around the knees and elbows where skin gathers which can result in dark patches.
Start from the bottom and work your way up your body in long, even strokes ensuring the tanning product is properly blended in. Using a tanning mitt or wearing disposable gloves may also help ensure an even tan.
6. Look after your tan
Preferably wear the least amount of clothes possible during and after tanning to give the product adequate time to absorb and dry. If you can’t go naked, have loose-fitting clothing on hand to avoid streak marks.
Don’t apply your fake tan just before you go to sleep, otherwise bed sheets and blanket folds will cause streaks.
If you can avoid water (showers, baths, exercise/sweating, swimming) in the six to eight hours after applying the tanning product, you’re also less likely to end up with streaks.
Tanning products to try
- Eco Tan Invisible Tan (150ml, RRP $39.95)
A luxe moisturiser perfect for transforming you into a bronzed goddess in 6-8 hours. Certified organic, natural, toxic-free and vegan. Available from www.naturalthings.co.nz.
- Tantastic Self Tanning Mousse (150ml, RRP $39.90) and Tantastic Self Applicator Mitt (RRP $10.90)
Suitable for the face and body, this tanning mousse is quick-drying and odourless, designed to leave you with a bronzed, all-over tan within minutes. For a smooth and streak-free result, apply with the Tantastic Self Applicator Mitt. Available at selected pharmacies and beauty therapy clinics nationwide and online at www.tantasticshop.co.nz.
- Trilogy Instant Bronzing Gel (100ml, RRP $25.90)
Quick-drying and easy to apply, Trilogy’s unique tanning formulation provides a healthy golden glow for skin in need of a vacation. With a delicious light tropical fragrance, the initial application develops into a rich bronze tan over 2-3 hours. Available from selected Farmers, pharmacy, department and health stores nationwide. For more info visit trilogyproducts.com.
- Skinfood Tanning Moisturiser (RRP $14.95)
With rosehip oil, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, rosemary extract and a calming orange citrus scent, Skinfood’s Tanning Moisturiser delivers a natural looking sun kissed tan over 2-3 applications. Available from skinfood.co.nz.
Image / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – photostock (top); Supplied (bottom)