A beautiful bronze tan is the perfect summer accessory. Not only does it make you look slimmer and more toned, but a tan also looks amazing when paired with bright summer fashions and beachwear. Here we share our five top tanning tips for creating a gorgeous golden glow using only natural and cruelty-free beauty buys.
1. Exfoliate for a flawless finish.
To ensure a smooth surface on your skin for an even application, it’s vital that you exfoliate your body thoroughly prior to applying a self tanner.
“You should always exfoliate 24 – 48 hours before applying tan to remove the dead skin cells on the top layer of skin,” advises Sonya Driver, founder of organic and cruelty-free tanning brand Eco Tan.
We recommend exfoliating in the shower with a natural granulated scrub, like Atom’s delectably aromatic Coffee Body Scrub:
2. Prep your danger zones.
Fake tan can ‘grab’ onto dry skin, which can result in dark patches and an uneven-looking tan. To avoid this, apply a tiny amount of body lotion to dry skin before you apply self tan. “A small amount of moisturiser can be applied to dry areas of concern, like your elbows, knees, and ankles,” advises Sonya.
The palms of your hands are also prone to discolouration, because they tend to be in contact with the tanning mousse or lotion for a longer period of time. To avoid stained palms, simply use a tanning mitt or glove and wash your hands thoroughly after applying self tanner.
3. Apply self-tan strategically.
When applying tanner, it’s best to start with your feet and work your way up to your legs, butt, torso, back, chest, arms, neck and face. This technique will help you avoid streaks and creasing.
It’s also best to apply your tan in circular motions, rather than rubbing up and down. This will help ensure that you cover every square inch of skin, minimising the risk of streaks and missed patches.
4. Keep your skin hydrated to extend the life of your tan.
Your tan will gradually fade over a period of about a week as your skin naturally sheds and renews itself. And while you can’t make your tan last forever, you can help it linger a little longer simply by applying moisturiser at least once per day.
“Moisturise daily to keep skin hydrated and nourished to extend your tan,” says Sonya. “Another tip is to use a body wash that is soap-free and SLS-free so that it doesn’t strip away your tan.”
5. Remove your old tan before reapplying.
It might seem like a good idea to layer more tanning lotion or mousse straight over the top of your old fake tan to deepen the colour, but this is a big no-no.
Your old tan will start to become patchy as your skin cells naturally shed, and it’s important to start with a smooth and even surface when applying fake tan. For this reason, you should remove your old tan completely before you reapply.
“The best way to remove old tan is by exfoliating,” advises Sonya. “I remove old tan when I notice it is starting to wear off. This is usually 7-10 days after I’ve applied it.”
To remove fake tan, use a body scrub that’s blended with natural oils like coconut or jojoba oil. You can make a D.I.Y scrub by mixing ¼ cup of raw sugar with ½ cup of coconut oil – we like INDAH Coconut Oil To Go.