Self tanning is perfect for people like me, who, quite frankly, are as pale as it gets. You may have been put off from using things like sunbeds after hearing of the various health risks, but using tanning mousses and sprays are often just as effective at helping you achieve the natural glow you’re looking for! If you’re a newbie to the world of self tanning, here are a few tips to help you get started.
1. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate!
Trust me, I know this stage seems like a big faff (and I went through a period of skipping it myself), but it’s one that you really shouldn’t avoid if you can help it. You may be impatient like me and just want to be tanned head to toe in five minutes, but the likelihood is, if you don’t exfoliate, your tan will come out patchy. To prevent this, simply squirt some soap onto your body scrub or exfoliating gloves and wet them slightly, before rubbing in circular motions over your body. This will ensure that any dead skin cells are removed, and you’ll find that your skin feels super smooth afterwards!
I would definitely suggest that you also shave before you apply your fake tan, as there’s nothing worse then applying your tan before your night out and then realising your legs are hairy – you’ll have to undo the work that you’ve done and start all over again! Save yourself the trouble and de-fuzz with plenty of time to spare.
3. Moisturise Dry Areas
It’s easy to forget this step, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Dry areas such as your elbows, knees, ankles etc. have a habit of letting the tan stick to them, so you’re much more likely to be left with some areas darker than others – not ideal. To prevent this, grab your favourite moisturiser and rub it into all the dry areas before you start self tanning, and you’re guaranteed to achieve a much more even glow.
Now for the best part-time to start tanning! Make sure you use an applicator mitt (you can buy these fairly cheaply in places like Boots) to avoid your hands turning a peculiar Oompa Loompa shade of orange, and squirt some of your product onto it. Rub your tan in circular motions all over your body, making sure to use the guide colour (if there is one) to help you apply it evenly. A common mistake is to miss the inner parts of your body, such as the inside of your arms, so take extra care to look out for any hidden pale patches!
5. Let It Dry
Arguably the most tedious part of self-tanning, this is also the most important. You don’t want your tan coming off on your fresh bedlinen or newly washed clothes, so make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to dry! If you really can’t afford to wait, some people use hairdryers to speed up the process a little. If the instructions on your product say you need to wash the guide colour off, make sure you allow plenty of time for the colour to develop, and once you’ve washed it off (or let it dry), put on some loose clothes just to make sure your colour is definitely going to stay put.
Shimmering body lotions and oils have become very on trend recently, so if you’re looking for that extra bit of sparkle, you might want to treat yourself to one of these as a finishing touch!
The idea of self-tanning might seem a bit daunting at first, but soon enough it will become an essential part of your beauty routine! Do you have any favourite tanning products? Let us know in the comments below!
I'm a University of Birmingham Undergraduate studying English and Creative Writing. I love music (I'm especially partial to a bit of Ed Sheeran), reading ('The Lovely Bones' is genius) and, obviously, writing! I hope you enjoy reading my articles.