A glimpse of what may just turn out to be a long hot summer has this week seen us flashing a little more flesh and whilst some us are perfectly comfortable with the paler tones our skin naturally exudes after a long winter, others covet that deep golden tan.Sunbeds and long hours spent basking in the early summer sun are a definite no-no for the team here at Jersey Beauty Company so what’s the alternative if you prefer golden hues to pale and interesting? There really is only one option - fake it.
There is a vast array of self tanning and bronzing products on the market so it’s no wonder that we can get it so wrong. Sludgy or orange tones with stubborn steaks really isn’t the look we hope to achieve when choosing a suitable product so where do you start?
Know your skin Getting to know your skin is the first step in choosing a tanning or bronzing product which will really deliver the results you want. Locate those bits which are drier or more sensitive, prone to breakouts or well balanced and you will get to understand what is normal for you. Next look at skin tone - do you have peachy, pink, yellow or blue undertones and does this differ vastly say on thighs than on face? Once you have an understanding of how your skin behaves and the varying differences in tone, you have head-start on choosing the right product for you.
Ignore the marketing blurb It’s easy to get caught out with sleek advertising campaigns demonstrating impossibly perfect, deeply bronzed bodies but the truth is that there really is no single product which will deliver the results everyone wants. Before rushing out to buy the latest must-have, do your own market research; get online, read the reviews and talk to your friends to really find out what works and what doesn’t. For some, it will be the professionally applied weekly spray tan whilst for others a daily moisturiser with a hint of self tan, the trick is knowing what end results you want to achieve then finding a product that works for you.
Choices, choices Self tanners and bronzers are available as a diverse range of formulations with varying application methods, so choosing the right one can be a bit hit and miss. Here are the key types and some handy hints:
Instant tanners These are usually a gel, cream or micro-spray formulation which instantly bronzes the skin on contact, dries quickly and washes off when you next bathe. Ideal for adding a little colour when you need a boost, avoids the dreaded streaking and allows you to build a light or deeper colour depending on application. If you are trying an instant tanning product for the first time choose micro-spray formula for whole body application and a cream or gel for the face.
Daily self tanners A relatively new product to the tanning market and gaining in popularity for their ease of use and skin moisturising properties. A cream formulation which is easy to apply, you simply slather all over as you would your usual moisturising product, wait until completely dry then dress as usual. The small amount of self tanning agent will develop in a few hours, delivering a hint of all over colour which builds gradually each day you continue to apply. There are several cosmetic companies marketing very similar formulations so choosing the right one for you will depend on skin tone and moisture needs.
Self Tanners Cream, foam, micro-spray and gel formulations offer a method of applications to suit everyone but this type of tanning product can be a little trickier to apply. The tan develops over a few hours and fades gradually during the next 4-7 days so mistakes in application are not easily rectified. If you are new to this type of product try out the store sample tester in a discreet area to check for final colour and suitability. Chose a foam or spray where possible for a smoother and more even application for the first few attempts and preferably, choose a product with built-in instant colour so you can see exactly when you have applied the product.
Preparation is key Whichever method you settle on (even if you decide to make a trip to the salon for a professional treatment) preparing your skin thoroughly will give you far better results, more even colour which lasts longer and fades more evenly. Clean and well hydrated skin is the key so exfoliate and moisturise well for at least 3 days prior to applying your chosen tanning product. Pay particular attention to heels, knees and elbows which are prone to rapid dehydration and scaly skin, which if ignored, can lead to orange or sludgy patches through over absorption of the tanning product.
To avoid the dreaded orange eyebrows and hairline, apply a little vaseline to act as a barrier and don’t forget to wear gloves to protect palms (the backs of hands can easily be done last with a tanning mitt). Continue to exfoliate lightly and moisturise daily after your tan has fully developed to maintain an even colour and a healthy glow.
To keep your skin in tip top condition, Dermalogica offers a wide range of exfoliants and moisturisers and whilst our sister company Jersey Beauty can’t deliver a wide choice on tanning products, you will find the market leading St Tropez which may just offer what you need!