Step 1- Be Prepared
Prepping the skin for fake tan is the most important thing you can do to ensure the longevity of your tan. Use an exfoliating scrub that will clear away surface detritus and dead skin cells to make sure the tan glides smoothly over soft skin, instead of clinging to anything other than your skin. One contentious topic in fake tan prep is when or when not to shave – most people agree that when shaving your legs it’s good to leave time between the hair removal and the application of the fake tan, to avoid the tan settling into the pores and giving a spotty effect. Another way to avoid this effect if you’re in a bit of a rush and have to shave immediately before applying fake tan, is to run cold water over the newly hair-free skin, to close the pores.
Step 2 - Fake It
Next step, after drying off your smooth and dead skin free body, is to apply the fake tan. Depending on your formula, use a mitt in gentle circular motions, going downwards to evenly spread the tan across your body. When applying the tan to your elbows, knees, ankles and wrists, add a little moisturiser to the tan already on your tanning mitt, to help the tan attach evenly and to avoid concentrated clumps of tell-tale orange on your joints. Coloured mousse formulations are often the easiest to apply, as you can see where you have already applied the tan. An easy way to get your tan done is to use an-in shower formula from St Tropez, or opt for a tanning oil, which will spread evenly and dry almost instantly, allowing for a last minute burst of golden colour.
Step 3 - Keep It Hydrated
To ensure your tan stays on longer than just one night, use a gradual tanning moisturiser after the tan has dried, so that you lock in the colour and keep it building. Not only will this ensure you stay bronzed and beautiful for as long as possible, but the skin loving ingredients in these gradual tanners will make sure you can stay golden all year round. Reach for formulas with moisturising oils for hydration that will last all summer. For an added bonus, most formulas are complete with a summery scent, perfectly capturing the golden weather in a bottle.
Step 4 - Getting It Off
Not so much a step in the fake tanning routine, but one that you must remember if you’re wanting to create a fresh slate for next weekend. There are all sorts of fake tan removers on the market, specially formulated to strip away the flaky remains of one weeks fake tan, clearing the way for a streak-free re-application. Make sure every skerrick of tan is removed with an exfoliating soap or scrub, and remember to follow up with a moisturiser before going into the beginning of the next tanning routine.