Thanks to being Irish, I have very pale skin and don’t catch quite as many sun rays as I’d like to. I love tanned skin and the glow it gives, and I always feel instantly better when I have a bit of a colour, but seeming as there’s no way of me achieving this naturally, false tan has become something that I’ve loved using over the years. Just one bottle can make you look like you’ve spent three weeks in the sun – without nasty UV rays or skin damage – perfect.
It all started with Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs tan that I began using years ago. I loved the finish, but exfoliating and moisturising weren’t exactly essential parts of my routine back then, resulting in slightly orange and often patchy tan. Boy, am I glad those days are over.
I’ve tried a few different methods when it comes to applying fake tan, but these three steps always stay the same. If you’re like me and love having a bronze glow, read on to see how I apply and prep for my tan!
Step 1 – Exfoliate
The Scrub of Your Life by Soap & Glory is a new enough product to me, but I loved it as soon as I first used it. Exfoliating is essential before applying fake tan, you need to create a smooth surface and slough away any dead, dry skin cells that fake tan loves to cling to. The grains in this scrub are big enough that you can really work it into the skin, but aren’t so harsh that they’d hurt you. Along the shins and elbows are two spots that are prone to dryness, so make sure you give them an extra rub. Sometimes I use exfoliating gloves for an intense exfoliation, or to remove previously applied tan. I scrub this product everywhere that I plan to apply tan – if I’m not wearing a skirt or dress sometimes I’ll skip tanning my legs :’) Exfoliating and shaving is best done at least 24 hours before you want to apply your tan to ensure that your pores aren’t open – causing the tan to seep inside them, which is what usually results in little brown dots all over your body – not a good look.
Step 2 – Moisturise
Moisturising is essential after exfoliating. You’ve essentially just stripped your skin, so moisture is needed to ensure that dry patches stay away, as well as keeping the surface smooth and soft. Try not to use a moisturising oil, if at all possible. These can cause tan to break down, ruining all of the hard work you’re trying to do! I’m currently loving Victoria’s Secret Hydrating Body Lotion in Red Plum and Freesia, but any cream or lotion will do really. Once again, apply it all over the body and focus on areas that are particularly dry. I usually exfoliate and moisturise the night before I plan to tan, so slipping into soft pyjamas after this is essential. The moisturiser will do it’s work over night and by morning your skin should be smooth and soft.
Step 3 – Tan
Now this is the tricky part. Tanning can go so right, or so so wrong. If you’ve exfoliated and moisturised though, you’re 80% on the way to bronzed skin. Cocoa Brown tan is a new favourite of mine. It’s only €8 and gives tanned skin in just one hour! The one thing that I hate about fake tanning is that I usually do it at night time, and 9 times out of 10 I’m usually too tired/not bothered to do it. Cocoa Brown develops in just one hour – how amazing is that?! It develops darker the longer that you leave it on, so I usually leave it on over night if I’ve the energy to do it then, or I apply it in the morning and let it develop throughout the day. The formula is a mousse, which is really easy to blend into the skin. I use a tanning mit, and have my whole body tanned in under 20 minutes. To tan my hands I squirt a bit of Cocoa Brown and then add a drop of moisturiser and then rub my hands together, making sure that I get every knuckle and finger. This helps to avoid having orange hands! There’s no nasty smell, and it isn’t sticky at all. The next morning my skin has gone from pale to bronzed, and I just have a quick shower to get rid of the top layer of tan. I can’t recommend this tan enough – definitely give it a try if you can get your hands on it! Moisturising is key in making your tan last and fade evenly, so make sure you apply a quick layer of lotion every day. This tan usually lasts around four days, which is perfect to have a nice glow at the start of the week after the weekend! Buy Cocoa Brown here.
So, that’s my tanning routine – it’s nothing special but I thought it might be handy for anyone who’s just starting tanning or doesn’t know too much about it.
Thank God tomorrow’s Friday – it’s been a long week!
*One small crack doesn’t mean you are broken. It means that you were put to the test and didn’t fall apart*