To Tan or Not To Tan
An expert guide to getting that sun-kissed bronze look, sans harmful rays
Is there a shade of white or indeed any other color that doesn’t look better against sun-kissed skin? We don’t think so, which is why we have put together this expert guide to achieving a perfect glow without having to go anywhere near any harmful rays.
The first rule is not to use the same product for your face as your body. Self-tanners use a chemical called DHA. Body products use higher concentrations that could be irritating to more sensitive skin on the face, especially near the eyes.
Second, experiment with the different formulations available to find the one that works best for you:
• Water formulas are very popular right now because they absorb straight away and do not need any drying time.
• Sheet masks are really on trend right now and they’re a simple way to create an even application.
• Dry oils are moisturizing but need a little more care in application to create an even glow.
• Mousse feels light on the skin and is easy to spread but you need to pay attention to ensure consistent coverage.
• BB creams can combine self-tanning properties with other benefits and are an easy way to incorporate self tanning into your beauty routine.
• Balms melt into your skin. They also retain moisture that helps to achieve a healthy glow.
• Towelettes are probably the quickest and fastest route to sun-kissed color but the tan tends to fade faster.
In addition to using one tanner for your face and another for your body, consider a formulation just for areas where it’s hard to apply an even color. Balms blend more easily into typically tough spots like ankles and knees. Just make sure all the colors match.
Many self-tanners come with added benefits that can help product absorption and color retention. Those with hyaluronic acid and moisturizers will slow down the skin cell turnover and retain the color longer. Others come packed with antioxidants offering the added bonus of keeping your skin healthy.
Before the final application properly prepare your skin. Shave or wax a day or two beforehand and then exfoliate right before application to create as smooth a canvas as possible for your products.
Well-hydrated skin will absorb products more evenly and deeply but product will slip off skin that is too oily. Make sure you have enough time to apply the self-tanner slowly; if you are rushing you are much more likely to make mistakes.
Finally, if you do find an orange streak or two, don’t worry —several brands now offer self-tan erasers to make telltale turmeric-shade streaks a thing of the past.