Fake It Til' You Make It
Ok, so here’s the deal. You won’t like it but a tan is actually a sign of damaged skin. As much as having darker skin can make you look healthier, more attractive, slimmer and highlights muscular definition, the downside of excessive sun exposure can out-way the positives. Have you ever seen people that have spent far too much time in sun? I actually have a family relative who is affectionately known as ‘The Walnut’ on account of his very wrinkly skin! Nothing ages the skin faster than damaging UV light. Most wrinkles are the result of sun damage and therefore preventable. So if you want to get some colour on your pale skin yet don’t want to damage your skin, or is naturally very pale and doesn’t tan anyway (me!) what are they to do? The answer is to fake it baby! Women have been ‘faking it’ for years!
My 10 golden rules for a golden (fake) tan
1. Fake tans have come along way over the past few years and now there’s some really good ones available. The best ones are of the tinted brown (otherwise known as the ‘guide’ colour) variety so you can clearly see where you’ve applied it so you don’t miss bits! And for the smoothest application select a product that’s dispensed as a mousse.
2. Always use a tanning mit. These resemble an oven glove that’s covered in a thin layer of sponge. They are tan-tastic for achieving a professional, even finish.
3. The key to a believable self-tan is the technique of application. Never rush and don’t use too much. It’s far better to apply a small amount and re-apply a couple days later rather than using too much initially.
4. Always apply your self-tan in daylight so you can clearly see what you’re doing and if you’ve missed any patches. Get someone to do your back if you can’t reach!
5. Use a tiny amount on hands, feet, elbows, knees and face. These areas are notoriously difficult to get right so extreme caution is required.
6. Preparation is also essential. Trim body hair, shave face and use a body scrub to smooth away any rough areas especially knees and elbows.
7. Wait for at least a couple of hours after shaving before applying fake-tan to give your skin time to settle as freshly shaved skin is very sensitive and may react to the chemicals in fake-tans.
8. Use lightly damp cotton wool pads to wipe away any excess product on the wrists, earlobes, back of ears, armpits and ankles.
9. Wait 4-6 hours before showering to give your tan time to ‘develop.’
10. Aftercare is also important. After showering gently pat, rather than rub, your skin with your towel to keep your tan longer. Also using a light body lotion each day can extend the life of your tan and helps it to fade evenly.
This all my may sound like a lot of effort but done well your tan should look natural and should last 5-6 days if cared for properly. Less time if you shower or exercise a lot. Remember the key to a believable tan is subtlety: less is more. The goal is a gentle, sun-kissed look rather than resembling a tangerine!