Get a head-to-toe holiday glow without damaging your skin. We talk to the top tanning expert to find out how… by Elise Wilson
To avoid looking ghostly in the fast approach to summer, give your skin a boost with some fake tan. Having a beautiful sun-kissed glow not only helps you feel good, it makes you look good too. And by good, we mean HEALTHY!
By following just a few simple steps can mean the difference between a tan that comes out patchy, and one that looks natural and lasts. We spoke to Blair James, the director and co founder of Bondi Sands for his fail-safe tanning tips. Buffing mitts at the ready!
This is the single most important step to getting an even colour. Scrubbing removes the dry skin that the tanning product can catch on, causing blotchiness. If you never exfoliate, don’t think a gentle scrub the night before will do! Exfoliating every day for a week before you tan is recommended. ‘An exfoliating mitt is the best way to prepare your skin before applying any fake tan product,’ says Blair. Be cautious of scrubs that contain oils too, if they’re used on the day of tanning, they could prevent your tan from adhering to your skin properly.
It’s ideal for your skin to be completely clean and smooth to achieve the best application. As well as exfoliating it’s a good idea to get rid of unwanted hair too. ‘Generally you should wait around 24hrs after shaving or waxing before applying your self-tanning product,’ says Blair. ‘If not it can result in rough or irritated areas that can develop into a patchy tan.’
Nothing gives away a fake tan quite like white hands and feet, but they are tricky to right. Before you start, rub a little bit of body lotion over these areas to dilute the colour, then use a mitt to apply your self-tan over your whole body. Use what’s left on your mitt to lightly go over your hands and feet at the end. The mitt will not only distribute the product evenly, but prevents you from having to spend hours scrubbing your palms afterwards. ‘Also don’t forget to pre-moisturise dry areas of skin such as ankles, knees and elbows or any areas you do not want to tan i.e. ‘Your eyebrows when tanning the face!’ says Blair.
‘Start from the lower leg and move your way up, sweeping in circular motions,’ says Blair. ‘Next, move on to the upper body leaving your hands and feet until last and, again, use the residue on the mitt only.’ It’s also important not to reapply fake tan to hands, feet and elbows as they absorb product quicker than other areas, which could lead to an uneven finish.
‘Gradual tanning products are great for the face as you have greater control over the end result by building the tan slowly over a number of days,’ says Blair. ‘Tanning foams and lotions can also be used on the face, but be sure to moisturise your eye brows and hairline first to stop the tan shifting onto those areas. Generally specific face tanning products will be more gentle on the skin and may reduce the chance of irritation.’
‘Moisturising is key to extending the length of your tan and maintaining your glow,’ says Blair. Lathering your body in a rich body cream at least twice a day will prevent your tan from fading or going patchy. ‘You can also use a gradual tanning product to moisturise while also giving your tan a top-up,’ he says. ‘Once it begins to crack and flake off around the your elbows or knees you’ll know it’s ready to be fully removed.’ For a relaxing way of removing your tan Blair recommends ‘adding a little bit of baby oil in a very warm bath to help soften the skin.’ After soaking in it for 10 minutes use an exfoliation mitt to gently rub off
‘Lemon juice will help lighten and remove stains instantly,’ says Blair. ‘We have a Bondi Sands Exfoliation Mitt, $16.99, which is specifically designed to help remove any unwanted tan.
For a deeper colour, simply add additional layers of the product and then let it develop for the recommended time.
• Manuka Doctor ApiBronze Anti-Cellulite Bronzing Gel, $49.95 • MoroccanTan Instant Tanning Lotion, $49.95 • Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Leg Makeup in Medium, $29.99 • Rimmel London Sunshimmer Instant Tan BB Perfector, $14.99 • St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan Mousse, $49.95 • St. Tropez Self Tan Express Mousse, $75 • The Body Shop Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist, $49.50 • The Body Shop Honey Bronze Tinted Face Gel, $32.75 • Tantastic Self Tanning Mousse, $39.90 • Tantastic Pink Self Applicator Mitt, $10.90 • Bondi Sands Wash Off Instant Tan, $19.99 • Lancôme Flash Bronzer Mousse - Body, $53 • James Read Express Bronzing Mousse, $72 • Argania Moroccan Glow Self Tan Cream, $29.99 • Estee Lauder Limited Edition Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skin Scent, $143