Fake tan has evolved tremendously over the past decade, and now we are blessed with highly efficient streak-free products that leave our bodies looking beautifully sun-kissed in a matter of hours.
Despite the advancement in tanning products however, rocking a fabulous fake tan requires expert technique to ensure it looks completely natural and stays on for as long as possible.
So take a look at our guide below to learn how to apply fake take like a pro.
How does fake tan work?
Fake tan colours the surface of the skin using a chemical reaction. Most tanning products contain the active ingredient, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is a naturally-occurring sugar that is found in the bark of a chestnut tree. This ingredient reacts with keratin in the skin, causing a brown pigment to form. The intensity of your fake tan depends on how much DHA is in your tanning product.
What tanning products should you use?
There are so many different tanning products available these days that it can be difficult pin-pointing a great one that works well for you. Essentially though, you need to make sure that you are choosing the right shade for your skin tone. While pale skinned beauties should opt for lighter shades that give a subtle glow, medium to dark skin tones will benefit more from darker shades that aim to enhance naturally tanned skin. For quick and easy fake tanning products that cater for all skin tones, we love the he-shi range.
You should also consider investing in a good quality fake tan remover which can be used after application to remove any unwanted tan. St Tropez Tan Remover is particularly good for any mistakes made on fingers and palms.
What’s the best way to apply fake tan?
- Prep – First things first, you need to set your base. Exfoliating the night before you apply your fake tan can help to get rid of dead skin cells and patches of dry skin that can prevent you from getting an even colour. Any shaving or waxing should be done at least 24 hours before you apply fake tan.
- Moisturise – The night before should also be spent moisturising to ensure your skin is as silky as possible. Remember to concentrate on problem areas such as the knees, elbows, wrists, hands and ankles.
- Application – You may want to consider putting on a pair of latex gloves or an applicator mitt to keep your palms tan-free. Make sure your skin is clean and dry, and then simply sweep the fake tan on – ensuring you are covered all over. Gentle smoothing is best as rubbing will leave the fake tan looking uneven.
- Leave to set – Every fake tanning product will recommend a time that you need to leave your tan to set. Your tan won’t get deeper the longer you leave it, although if you desire a deeper tan, you can always re-apply the product on successive days (i.e. two or three days in a row). If your fake tan takes a day to set, make sure you wear dark, loose-fitting clothing to allow it to sink in without staining your clothes.
- Keep your glow – On average, fake tan usually lasts around four to six days, as the skin naturally exfoliates itself and sheds layers. You can however prolong the smooth and even look of your tan by moisturising, which helps to ensure your colour fades evenly.
If you’d prefer to get your fake tan done professionally, you may want to check out our tanning page. Here you can find out what spray tanning treatments are available and what they involve.
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