Thankfully DIY tanning has come a looong way since it was first introduced. The days of streakiness, tandoori orange hues and those telltale blotchy hands and feet are, for the most part, well behind us. And, thanks to the wonders of science, the odds are much more in our favour when it comes to applying a golden glow ourselves.
However, the biggest secret when it comes to fake tanning (by yourself or with an expert) is in the preparation, so don’t ignore the warm-up. Here are some simple (yet key) steps to help you ready your skin and ensure you’re getting the best out of your faux tan every time (think more Amalfi Coast and less Oompa Loompa).
It’s all about that base
If you do nothing else, make sure you exfoliate your skin before you tan and make sure you remove ALL of the previous tan before you even think about going for more.
We love Bondi Sands’ Self Tan Eraser that gently removes your previous tan without the need for excessive and harsh exfoliation, which can irritate the skin and leave it dry. This one instead works to also moisturise and leave the skin silky smooth and ready to glow – double win.
Don’t forget about hair removal either! Make sure you do this before you tan. The day before is best if you can manage it.
Speaking of moisturising…
In the days leading up to your tan your mantra is: moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. And then moisturise again. Seriously, though, to help your tan glide on evenly you want to make sure your skin is super hydrated, because if it’s dry, that’s when you’ll get streaks and patches. Moisturised skin will also help the tan absorb better and last longer.
However, it’s best not to apply moisturiser on the day of your tan (except for a small amount to your dry areas – think feet, ankles, knees, hands and elbows) and then, once you’ve applied the tan, wait 24 hours before applying any more. Then you want to lather it on morning and night to help lengthen the tan and allow it to fade evenly.
Tip: When applying tan to your face, try mixing it with a little moisturiser to dilute it for a more subtle glow.
The right tools
Get yourself a good tan mitt and you won’t be sorry. A good mitt will help the tan glide on seamlessly and stop you ending up with those telltale orange hands.
If you’re doing your tan at home, it’s best not to apply it straight after having a shower. When you shower in hot water the steam causes your pores to open up and then the tan gets in the pores, leading to little brown spots on your skin. So if you can wait, then do so. But, if time is an issue, the best fix is to blast the cold water before you get out of the shower and that should help close those pores.