All Fake Tans Are Created Equal
Aaah, the miracle of fake tan! Don't be put off by those poor unfortunate souls that turn a terrible shade of tangerine. Used with a little bit of skill, it will make you glow and magically erase that pesky cellulite. All fake tans regardless of price have one thing in common - DIHYDROXYACETONE. Its the stuff that creates the colour and it appears in every single self tanner, be it the priciest aerosol tan or the supermarket self tan lotion. When choosing a self tanner always read the ingredient listing on the bottle. Ingredients have to be listed in order of volume, so the ingredient that appears in the greatest amount is first on the listing, then it works downwards with the last ingredient on the list being the smallest amount of ingredient in the product. With this firmly in mind, the higher that the word DIHYDROXYACETONE appears on the ingredient listing the darker the self tanner will be.
Choosing The Right Shade
When buying a self tanner you really need to take into consideration your natural skin colour. For a lovely, natural and totally believable tan you just need to take your colour just a few shades warmer. Notice I said warmer, not darker! Do not go for the darkest shade of self tanner thinking with just one application you will be ready for the beach. It is so much better to buy a shade that is a tad more natural and reapply each day till you get the shade you are happy with.
Preparation Is Everything
It really is best to apply self tanner in the evening. That way you can take your time, wear your raggiest old jimjams and not ruin any lovely clothes. You must exfoliate thoroughly before you even think about applying self tanner. Dry skin just soaks up the self tanner leading to horrid uneven and unbelievable coverage. After your shower, dry yourself thoroughly and maybe think about applying Nourish Oil to areas that are prone to dry skin, such as elbows, knees, heels and ankles. Then wait for about 10 minutes, this allows your body to cool and the Nourish Lotion to really sink in (if any Nourish Lotion does remain on skin just pat it dry with a towel). Tie your hair back and put on your gloves this is where it gets really serious.....
Self tanner is best applied in a cool room. You don't want to break a sweat when applying tanner and cause yourself nasty streaks, If applying in your bathroom, open a window and ensure its steam free as this can affect application. If your applying in another room use an old sheet to cover the carpet and any area you want to protect from staining. I always use plastic gloves when applying fake tan and I always buy the smallest size. That way they fit really close to the skin enabling you to apply the tanner with ease. Use a 10p size splat of tanner at a time. Massage into skin with a sweeping horizontal actions, followed by a vertical action. Work the tanner in well, this really makes a difference. Take your time and ensure that the tanner has been absorbed before moving on to the next bit. Start with your legs and then work up, slowly! Make sure that everywhere has been covered. Save the insides of your arms, armpits, elbows, knees, feet and hands till last. A quick swipe of the areas with the residue that remains on your gloves is more than adequate. Blot away any excess lotion with an old towel. If using an aerosol or pump spray its best to stand in the bath to apply. But really the application technique is the same (but read the instructions as some aerosol tans must not be rubbed in!), just spray onto skin from the distance advised on the instructions and rub in just the same as a lotion.
Its A Waiting Game....
You've applied the tanner with great care but now you must wait for 20 minutes at the very least before getting dressed. This is where it gets tricky, you do not want the tanner to settle in any areas (like your lovely curves) causing nasty dark bits. Now unless you want to stand with perfect posture, tummy sucked in and head held high you might like to follow this next fabulously lazy but extremely effective tip. Cover your bed with an old sheet, lie across the bed and let gravity work for you. Its a whole lot easier than standing around for 20 minutes avoiding the furnishings! After allowing the self tanner to dry put on your dingiest old t-shirt and rattiest pajama bottoms, then head for bed.
After bathing or showering don't be too zealous with the towel, give your skin a break and pat dry with a lovely fluffy towel (but don't use those chic white ones!). Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Once you have applied fake tan you must get into the habit of applying Nourish Lotion or Heavenly Bliss Balm twice a day. It really does extend the life of the tan and really ensures your skin has a lovely, glossy look.
How Often Do I Apply Fake Tan?
This really is up to you. The first time you apply self tanner it may take you two application (on consecutive evenings) to get the colour you want. When you are happy with the shade as long as you keep moisturizing you can get away with applying just once a week.
Don't Use Body Tanner On Your Face!
A self tanner for the body has a much richer and thicker consistency. It really isn't suitable for the face or neck. Skin is thinner there, much more sensitive and is much quicker to breakout. I really would recommend that you buy a product that is targeted to the face and neck.