A guide to faking it… Get the perfect faux tan!

There’s no doubt that having a tan makes us feel – and look – great. That post-holiday glow adds a sexy shimmer to our skin and means we can get our legs out without feeling like we’re pale and pasty. Of course we all know that hours in the sun leads to wrinkles and sun damage so what’s the alternative?

Well self tanning is a great way to get a glow all year round – doing it properly can lead to a nice sun kissed glow – and not an orange streak in sight!

Of course the easiest option would be to go to a tanning salon – it’s quick and effective, but if you’re short on cash you can build up a nice tan at home but of course there are some rules!

  • Exfoliate and moisturise liberally in the days before self-tanning. This will give you a smooth, even surface to work with and means you won’t get patchy colour – drier skin will absorb colour more easily so don’t be tempted to skip this! However, don’t exfoliate and moisturise immediately before tanning, as this can interfere with the application.
  • When you’re applying your tan, make sure to rub in the product smoothly and slowly – until it is all absorbed. If you’re prone to streaking then a lotion or gel, like this Vita Liberata gel, might be better, as you have more time to smooth it into your skin.
  • Add sparingly to your feet and toes and don’t forget to tan your ears! For a more diluted shade mix the tanner with a body lotion. This is good for delicate parts of the body – like your ears and feet.
  • Apply Vaseline to your nails to stop them staining, and remember to wash your hands frequently as you are applying – orange palms are a dead giveaway that your tan is fake.
  • Don’t tan in a warm room – sweat can lead to streaking so make sure that the room is a comfortable temperature and that you have a loose fitting t-shirt on hand for after the application.
  • Apply the tan limb by limb – do your legs first, then your shoulders and arms before applying to your hips, stomach, torso and back (you may require a friend to assist with this, as you’re bound to miss bits you can’t see!)
  • Tanning products that gradually build up a glow with built-in tints of colour also mean you won’t get streaks, and can build up your colour over time. Johnsons do a range of Holiday Skin body lotions to suit all skin types.
  • Don’t forget your face! The face can be a tricky part of the body to tan – after all you don’t want to end up looking like you’ve been Tango’ed. Using a lotion that gradually builds up your colour is a great option, as the results will look natural, especially as you won’t go from pasty to golden in one day! Johnson’s holiday skin ‘no more makeup’ lotion is fantastic!
  • If you do go wrong (it happens to the best of us!) then you can try evening out your streaks with a tinted moisturiser, or grab the lemon juice and wipe the affected areas with cotton balls. A better option is probably hopping in the shower with a good loofah sponge and exfoliating the dark patches. Don’t forget to moisturise afterwards and keep repeating!
  • Finish with a sweep of bronzer where the sun would usually hit you – including your collarbone and décolletage.
31st August 2010
Written by Very_Lauren