Comprehensive Guide to Safe Sunless Tanning

Sunless Self-tanning is the most harmless and chic way to look bronzed and glowing all year round without risking your health or your skin. Here is a comprehensive guide to safe sunless tanning.

Ask any beautician, beauty editor or writer, and they will tell you that the key to great self-tan is preparation and more preparation.

Firstly, know your skin colour, be honest, are you naturally fair? Are you naturally olive-toned? Do you burn easily? You need to use a tanning product formulated for your skin type and natural tone – to avoid the ‘orange’ look. Lots of ranges have great shades and formulations for fair skin and have specially formulated self-tan for all skin types from English Rose to Olive, so make sure you choose a tan to match your own skin to keep your glow looking natural.

The best way to tan is to put on the tanning lotion in the evening under some loose, old pyjamas or lounge clothes and then to leave your tan on all night, showering off in the morning. This way your tan can develop as long as possible whilst you sleep without being accidentally rubbed or washed off and it won’t sweat off onto your clothes during a hot day in the office.

Exfoliate. Self-tanning lotions grab on to dry skin wherever it is, leaving dark and uneven patches and streaks, so scrub well, paying particular attention to any dry areas, particularly knees, elbows, and feet. You should as well shave or wax your legs in advance and rinse them off with cold water.

Moisturise with a water based lotion, this will soak in and allow your tanning lotion to penetrate. An oil based lotion will keep your self-tan sitting on the surface and it won’t give you the best result. Pay special attention to knees, heels, feet and elbows as this should prevent any dry skin from turning into dark unsightly patches.

It’s advisable to use a tanning mitt, these sponge mitts ensure that you get even coverage with your tanning lotion and they also stop the self-tan from soaking into your hands and leaving you with messy, patchy, brown paws. You can also use a homemade alternative; you will need a pair of rubber gloves and an old pair of (clean) socks. After slipping the socks over the rubber gloves, you can put your tan on without streaks and without staining your hands. This method is perfect for tanning emergencies and also works equally well for instant tanning.