Tis the Season to Start Tanning

Get a fabulous glow this summer without the harsh UV rays with these fabulous tips.

Choose the right formula and shade - Lotion, Spray or Mousse?

Lotions are the most moisturising option but can be hard to apply as they have no tint which means you have to take care not to miss any areas.

Gels come with a visible tint and are easy to apply but they must be worked in quickly before they set and may leave skin feeling dry.

Sprays are great for topping up your tan but are generally not recommended for full coverage as they are generally messy and hard to apply evenly.

Mousse is the most popular form of tanning product because it spreads easily and has a visible colour tint.

If your still unsure, it is recommended you start with a gradual tanner.  This is a mixture of tan and body cream that you apply every day to slowly build up colour with little fear of leaving streaks.

Whatever formula you decide to use make sure to pick the right shade for your skin.  It is important to never go so dark that you end up with a fake looking tan.  If you have fair skin, go 2-3 shades darker than your natural skin tone and start with a light-medium tanning solution.  If you are naturally dark, try going 3-4 shades darker and you can start with a medium-dark tanning solution.  Remember it easier to start light and build up to a darker shade than it is to remove a fake looking tan.

Prepare your skin so before apply your tanning product.

Exfoliate in the days leading up to tanning to remove dead skin cells.  This will ensure a smooth surfaced to apply the tan to thus avoiding a patchy finish.

Keep your body moisturised, particularly concentrating on dry areas such as wrists, elbows, ankles, knees and feet.  This will prevent these dry areas soaking up the tanning solution causing them to look dark and uneven.

Shave or wax at least 24 hours prior to applying your tanning.  As skin can be left sensitive after hair removal this will allow it to calm down thus preventing irritation caused by the tanning solution.   

Apply the tanning product.  Always use a tanning mitt to avoid getting tan on your palms, in between your fingers and under your nails.  Pump your product onto the mitt and apply to the skin using broad circular motions.

Start at the ankles and work your way up.  To do your back simply flip the mitt back to front for easy application.  Wait until the end to do your knees, elbows, ankles hands and feet, just use the excess on your mitt to brush over these areas.

After you finish you can remove the gloves and use cotton wool pads to apply a small amount of tan to the back of each hand. 

If you are thinking of tanning your face you can use the excess from your mitt also.  If you have skin prone to break outs, dilute the tanning product with a moisturiser.

Drying time differs depending upon your product so follow the instructions. Some products allow you to get dressed immediately, while with others require you to wait. If you want to play it safe always allow 20-30 minutes before putting any clothes on.  Also, while most tans wash out easily try picking clothes that are dark coloured and loose to be safe.

Maintain your tan for longer lasting results.  Continue to gently exfoliate so as to prevent your skin from drying out and flaking off.  When you start to notice your tan fading do a top up tan.  It’s also important to stay hydrated inside and out so drink plenty of water and apply moisturiser daily.