Britain’s all-too brief summer is at its end – but that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your hard-earned tan for another year! Self-tanning products are improving every year; no longer are they associated with Sunny-D style lurid orange tans, but a healthy bronze glow that is a worthy replacement of the real thing. Still, better products might lead to improved tans, but the way you apply self-tanning products can have a huge effect on the final result. If you’re after some self-tanning tips to help you top up your end-of-summer tan, read on!
#1 Shave the night before
If you shave soon after you’ve applied your self-tan, it’ll almost act as an exfoliator – not good news if you want your tan to last!! Shaving right before you apply tan should also be avoided, as it’ll open up your pores and could leave you with a rather spotty finish. Most people find that the best time to shave is the evening before you plan to apply your self-tan so that your skin gets some time to recover but your body hair hasn’t had a chance to grow back.
#2 Exfoliate and moisturise
Use a gentle exfoliator before you tan to give yourself a smooth surface to apply your self-tan too. You also don’t want to be exfoliating shortly after application! Follow it up with some moisturiser – concentrate on areas of particularly stubborn dry skin; this technique will help the tan glide on in these areas instead of soaking up too much!
Self-tanning is not something that can be rushed! Make sure you have plenty of time set aside to allow for preparing, application and letting it dry. If you rush it’s all too easy to apply too much tan or end up with an uneven finish.
As with every new beauty product you try, you should always test a new self-tanning product on a small, discreet area of your skin before you go for a full application. With some products you may also want to do these patch tests with differing numbers of layers– this way you can find out how many layers you’ll need to give you the perfect tan.
#5 Have a plan of action
Decide how you’ll apply your tan. One limb at a time? Left to right? Bottom to top? How will you tackle hard to reach areas like your back? A methodical plan ensures you don’t miss any parts!
#6 Start from the bottom
We recommend that you start application from your ankles or legs and work your way up to your face, then finish with your arms. If you do it the other way round, when you bend down to apply tan on your legs you could end up with ugly orange streaks of tan on your torso.
#7 Protect your hairline and nails
Unless you’re a fan of slightly orange nails and hair, you’ll want to keep the tan away from these areas. Use Vaseline or another oily product to prevent any self-tan from finding its way into problem areas.
#8 Avoid orange hands
We recommend that you use disposable gloves or a mitt to apply your self-tan products, but if you’d rather use your fingers, just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after you finish each section of application. That’ll prevent them from being carrot orange by the time you’re done.
#9 More patience!
Yes, sorry – after application you really need to be patient again. Even if your product says it only takes a few minutes to dry, it’s best to be cautious and leave at least an extra five for it to dry completely.
#10 Make it last
Most self-tan brands will recommend that you avoid showering or exercise for several hours after application – some manufacturers say 12 hours is ideal.
The right application method certainly goes a long way to improving your self-tan, but without a product that suits your skin you’ll still struggle to get the result you’re after. Self-tanning products don’t have to break the bank – grab a handful from Direct Cosmetics with big brand items at great prices!