The rules. We're all pretty much aware of the rules and rituals we must do before tanning, but what about when it comes to keeping it? I'm a fake tan junkie, my addiction is a long one and I'd like to think I've established a pretty successful routine.
Laying The Foundation
Preparing your skin is a must before tanning, you want the clearest canvas you can. Two days leading up to tanning day, you need to wash away dead skin cells so the tan applies evenly. Currently, I'm using Soap & Glory Pulp Friction Body Scrub, a foaming exfoliator which works gently. There really is no need to scrub your skin red raw, especially if like myself, you're a dry skin sufferer.
Moisturise. Moisturise. Moisturise. I can't stress this enough. You probably know you should be doing it, but do you actually do it? Properly? Work a rich moisturiser into your skin, taking extra pre-cautions on elbows, knees, ankles and any dry areas. The Garnier Intensive 7 Days Moisturiser stands up to the job, the Shea Butter in the lotion really is hydrating. It's fast become one of my favourites, I've even repurchased it a couple of times. To prevent tan sticking and staining the hairline, apply a thin layer of Vaseline to create a barrier. This goes for eyebrows too.
Knowing when to shave plays a role in keeping your tan looking even and natural. And then of course there's the ol' shaving vs. waxing debate. Shaving naturally exfoliates the skin, especially if your digging in deep to cut close. Shave no less than 24 hrs before application, this should prevent the pesky black dots that can appear. Once you've tanned up and become a bronzed goddess, it's recommended to limit your shaving but after the initial rinse-off shower it's usually fine. Waxing on the other hand isn't. It will strip the colour completely. You'll waste your tan and you'll waste your time.
Contrary to popular belief, I find wiping the tan on the skin works best. Don't get me wrong, rub with a mitt a little to prevent streaking but buffing your way into tomorrow just isn't for me. I just think laying the tan allows for a more even result. Go lightly on the areas you concentrated moisturising, including your feet, they will soak up a lot of product. My tanner of choice is St Moriz Self Tanning Mousse largely because of price. But absolutely because it ticks the boxes. The guide colour is a must for seeing where you've applied the tan which vastly reduces the chance of a patchy result. Not only that, but if you're heading out a hurry, you can just slap it on and go. Biscuits? It doesn't smell offensive but there is a slight smell. The best time to tan is evening. You are going to have stand starfish whilst the initial stickiness dries. I can't solve that one, sorry. Stand in front of a fan? Open a window?
The mid-week top up. You know how it is, your tan is gradually fading. Do you apply tan over tan? Is that a thing? Do you really have to scrub it all off just to start over? No. Well, yes. Kinda. There will be a time - I like to do it fortnightly - where you'll want to let your skin breathe and begin your routine again. But what a faff. With moisturising being the key to a long-term non-flaky tan, using Fake Bake Daily Gradual Tan is the perfect way to combine keeping your glow looking fresh through-out the week whilst sneaking in an extra bit of moisture. The face tends to lose its colour first due to daily cleansing so topping up with James Read Sleep Tan Mask is a fool-proof way to maintain your colour whilst catching some zzz's. When showering always pat yourself dry rather than rubbing.
The Solution To Tanning Disasters
I'm not gonna lie, I've had my fair share of dodgy tans. We've all felt heart-wrenched discovering a tanning incident before so I feel obligated to pass on effective ways of dealing with the disasters that actually do work. The worst thing you can do is scour your skin, because the body naturally shreds, you are guaranteed to end up patchy. I put baby oil to the test, letting it sink in to the skin and gently exfoliating, a lot of product came off. Please be careful hopping in the shower with this one though. Washing powder, although probably not the safest solution works fantastic to rid those stubborn orange hands. Lastly, a specifically designed false tanning remover will work quickly to turnover your removal time. It's obvious but remember to use a dark coloured towel that you don't mind staining.
Note: Don't forget your SPF.