It’s about this time of year when your complexion turns a bit grey and defeated by the frosty days and horizontal rain. The answer is to set your out-of-office and get yourself on the next flight to Barbados…preferably returning around mid-March. However, tricky little obstacles such as work and disposable-income sometimes get in the way. To avoid looking ghoulish for the next 6 moths, get your mitt (literally) on a good fake tan and cheat your way to a luminous, bronzed complexion.
Admittedly, the arduous task of slathering questionnably-coloured foam on limbs every night is a bit tiresome and akin to embarking on a diet you’ll never stick with. Luckily, in winter you don’t need to bother with 90% of your skin so you can easily slot a self-tan regime into your routine, even a low-maintenance one.
I’ve done some extensive fake tan research (my sheets and towels are orange) and have come up with a shortlist of my favourites. Self-tan has come a long way since the streaky, biscuit-scented early days and now are generally simple to apply and fade evenly. Save on spray tans by becoming an at-home-expert.
Perricone MD No Sun Tanner, £54 - perfect for paler skin-tones, feels more like a luxurious moisturizer and contains Vitamin D which delivers benefits of being in the sun without the harmful effects. I use it every other day for a subtle complexion-lift.
St. Tropez is still a strong contender, this award-winning lightweight foam can be applied quickly with a mitt and reveals a believable olive-hue after showering the next day. The range is extensive and caters for all skin-tones.
Best Gradual Tanner
Xen-Tan Transform Luxe Gradual Face Tan - a celebrity favourite, Xen-Tan do a huge range of amazing products, this is a great item to add after your moisturizer. I found it a bit drying when used alone but had comments about looking fresh-faced when I was actually hung-over and tired. Score!
Best long-lasting Tanner
This is a dream for tanning addicts, the colour claims to last 2-3 weeks however more prepping time and ideally 3 coats are needed. This is great before a holiday and is 80% organic and odourless. A must-have if you’re an ‘everyday’ rather than ‘occasional’ tanner.
You don’t need to spend too long prepping your skin as long as its clean and oil free the self tan should go on well. To enhance the colour and longevity incorporate exfoliation scrubs into your routine and use an oil-free moisturizer, paying particular attention to elbows, knees and ankles.
I prefer to use a mitt when applying tan to the body, hands are fine for the face (or you can get mini face mitts). Famous Dave’s have come up with a great gadget to reach the difficult back and shoulders areas:
Great for a swift injection of colour, I love these bronzing powders as they don’t contain any shimmery particles, meaning I can wear it to work without looking like I’m off to an under-18 disco:
- Self tan ranges now come in a variety of shades so you can tailor your tanning regime to your skin tone. Check out http://www.st-tropez.com/dark-self-tan to find products to suit darker complexions.
- Swimming and going to the gym will reduce the life of your tan, top up with a gradual tanner to maintain the colour.
- Avoid using moisturizer with perfume or essential oils.
- Some fake-tans contain AHAs or other exfoliating agents so always wear a sunscreen with your daily moisturizer as these substances make your skin more vulnerable to UVA/UVB rays.
- Wash your tanning mitts regularly (like you would your make-up brushes) to stop them getting germy. Replace them when they get really gross.