In my opinion, there's no absolutely no excuse for orange, patchy tans anymore. With so many formulations on the market, a natural and heathy looking tan is easy to achieve, as we have swapped noticeably 'fake' tans for a more subtle bronzed glow. Here, I show you how to achieve a beautiful and golden tan in just four easy steps.
Lesson 1: Exfoliation is key
Priming a canvas is the best way to achieve a beautiful artwork and your body should follow the same principle. Remember this: exfoliation is essential if you want an even tan. Start by using a body scrub in the shower and gently rub with a body mitt, paying special attention to rough areas such as the knees and elbows.
Weekly exfoliation helps to rid the skin of its top dead layers and leaves it feeling soft and luscious. For a natural alternative, I love applying coconut oil to my mitt instead of a scrub, being careful to pat myself dry so the oil doesn't rub off. The oil provides just that little bit more moisture, especially when you're coming into winter.
Lesson 2: hydrate the skin
One of the most important components for a long-lasting tan is moisture! Summer brings more humidity, so for the this part of the year your skin is plump and full of vitamin D, but as we gradually approach winter it's important to remember that cold weather can be very drying. Winds and long hot showers not only remove moisture from your skin, they can also really shorten the life of your tan.
To combat this, replenish your body with a rich cream or body oil. Don't forget areas that tend to have lots of creases - the hands, elbows, knees, heels and toes. Moisturising these areas will smooth out any imperfections and help your fake tan blend better. Because let's face it, there's nothing worse than having dark, patchy spots!
Lesson 3: just keep on blending
When it comes to the main event - applying the tan - always use the product sparingly, starting with your face and gently blending down your neck. Remember, you can always build up the colour here, so less is more! Then, work your way down the body, leaving your hands and feet for last. Once finished, it's important to wash your hands and clean your fingernails with a wipe to avoid any staining.
Lesson 4: be kind to your skin
If you're feeling a little nervous self-tanning for the first time, then apply another layer of moisturiser over the tan. This will help the colour blend out, plus your skin can never be too hydrated so it's a win-win. Regularly moisturising your face and body over the next few months will prolong the colour of your tan, prevent it from fading and act as a barrier against harsh winds.
For a super-glowy complexion, try using a natural plant or fruit-based oil over the top of your tan. Goe oil is a wonderfully nourishing product that will absorb very quickly into your skin, leaving you looking refreshed and revitalised. This multi-purpose oil is the ultimate during cold seasons as it can really hydrate the skin, lips, cuticles and hair.
Taking care of your skin is a crucial party of having a healthy and flattering-looking tan. Personally, I find using products with natural and organic ingredients (like my Summer Tan range) gives you the best results. It's also a nice alternative to other tanners which often contain harsh parabens and other nasties.