You have been regularly working out, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and have even gotten your bikini area waxed — you’re all ready to hit the sand and the sea! The only thing you’re missing, though, is that bronzed glow that makes your skin look like it is being perpetually kissed by the sun. And what’s a girl to do when she needs to get a tan without excessively exposing herself to the sun’s harmful rays? Enter: the faux glow, a.k.a. fake tanning.
How to Fake Tan Like a Pro
Achieving a bronzed glow through fake tanning can be tricky if you have never had any experience with it. It is not uncommon for beginners to be left with streaks and patches on their skin, causing an unsightly, uneven finish, due to the wrong application technique.
But, don’t worry because we’re here to help. Check out the following tips to get your body glowed up for the beach:
Get Your Skin Ready
Before going straight in with your chosen self-tanning product, you first have to prep your skin so the tan has a smooth canvas to glide onto. Begin by exfoliating your skin on the day before you are planning to apply the tan — either in the morning or evening. This is an essential step you should not skip when planning to self-tan as exfoliating your skin will help get rid of the build-up of dead cells. When skin is not exfoliated before a tanning product is applied, the colour of your tan will just end up fading as the dead cells naturally shed, thereby shortening the lasting power of your tan. In addition, be sure that the exfoliator you use will not leave a film on your skin as this will disrupt the tanning application as well — any film left on the skin will result in streaks, which are not marks you want to be left with when you have a tan on. This applies to moisturiser as well. The only areas that need to be moisturised are the areas of your body that tend to be drier such as your knees, elbows and ankles. Still, be sparing when moisturising these areas to prevent the moisturiser from rubbing off the tan.
Decide on Your Preferred Formula
Tanning products are available in different formulas, from mousse to lotions to sprays. It is not a must for you to choose just one; feel free to mix different formulas in one application. For instance, you can opt for a spray for areas that are more difficult to reach such as your back, and use another formula for the rest of your body. The formula you choose will also depend on how much time you can afford to spend on self-tanning. If you need a quick tanning job done, a spray might be the better option as it will allow you to achieve full coverage in the shortest amount of time. Another factor to consider is how long you want your tan to last. Some self-tanning products are designed to be washed off after a day, so these products are good options if you want to have a golden glow for a special occasion. There are even self-tanning wipes available in the market today, which make great travel-friendly companions for when you need an instant tan on your beach getaway.
Use the Right Application Technique
If there is one thing you should take away from this article, it is to never ever apply fake tan with your bare hands or you will risk looking like you just walked off the set of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory acting as one of the Oompa Loompas. Use a pair of tanning mitts instead. Besides preventing your palms from turning as orange as Paris Hilton circa the 2000s, applying your tan with a mitt will make your application more seamless. Just make sure you use a downwards, swiping motion when applying the tan to achieve an even finish. This also ensures you are not left with streaks on your skin. In addition, go section-by-section when applying your tan so you don’t forget which areas of your body you have gone over. We recommend tanning your hands last as they will be covered with the mitts anyway. To prevent you from overloading on the tan on this area, lightly brush the mitts over your hands so you will get a subtle glow.
Pay More Attention to Your Face
When it comes to your face, a once-over self-tan will not be enough to maintain your colour. This is due to the faster rate of cell turnover of our faces, which means your tan will fade much quicker compared to the rest of your body. The cell turnover rate is even faster if you use chemical exfoliators such as AHAs and BHAs. Therefore, to maintain the tan on your face, consider adding a few drops of a liquid tanning solution into your regular moisturiser. This will top up the tan on your face as well as provide you with a dewy, bronzed glow.
Don’t Rush It
If you want your skin to radiate a bronzed glow like Jennifer Lopez, you need to invest at least 30 minutes of your time to tan your entire body. If you try to get it done as quickly as possible, your skin will just end up in a streaky mess. Thus, be sure to choose a time when you will be completely free to do a self-tan so you will not be distracted by other priorities. Consider this time as a pampering treat for yourself — put on some summer tunes and get tanning. Once you have done a thorough application, check in the mirror to see if you missed any spots. When you have double checked everything, you are now ready to hit the waves!