It’s safe to say that the majority of this generation have a love hate relationship with fake tan. We have all had our fair share of disasters I’m sure, the streaks, orange hands, patches and not to mention the ‘tiger bread’ skin. Luckily for you, Carbon’s official beauty editor, Ava, is here. I am here to save the day and give you my top tips to keep your tan looking fresh and flawless. This tan routine isn’t for the faint hearted, but if you want that gorgeous, all year round glow, then take notes!
Step 1 – Shower, exfoliate and shave
Before applying the tan, it is important to make sure you have exfoliated your entire body to get rid of any dead skin or old tan. It also allows for a smooth, fresh base. To do this I recommend using exfoliating gloves rather than a loofah as it allows you to apply more pressure and get into any smaller places, for example, in-between your fingers, which is a place tan always tries to stick to! Use a shower gel or scrub to exfoliate with, a cheap one from savers or Superdrug will do just fine, the gloves can also be bought from here. Shave after you have exfoliated, if done previously the skin will be smooth and the gloves will slide off your skin rather than scrubbing it.
Step 2- Moisturise
After patting down your newly soft skin with a towel, it is time to moisturise. This is an extremely important step to make sure your tan lasts. Apply evenly all over your body. Allow your skin a couple of hours to soak up the moisture while you prepare for the next steps. I recommend the Vaseline Intensive Care Body Lotion in Cocoa Radiant. This moisturiser is the perfect consistency and dries quickly, leaving you soft and smelling of chocolate. What more could you want?
Step 3- Rinse and reapply
At this point you probably think I’m crazy, but there is a reason for doing this. If you leave the moisturiser on and apply tan straight over the top, the two can mix together and sometimes you can end up with a green tinge, which is never okay, unless you’re dressing up as Shrek. When you wash the moisturiser off, your skin has soaked up as much as it needs, meaning your pores may be open. Washing it off with cold water closes your pores and helps you to avoid the tan clinging to these, causing black dots all over your legs. After doing so, re apply a thicker moisturiser in any areas the tan may stick to. These include: elbows, wrists, ankles, knees, feet and hands. Let this soak in for 10 minutes before moving on to the next step.
Step 4- Tan time!
Finally, the fun part! Apply your tan all over your body in small circular motions making sure there is no streaks or areas you have missed. Blend it all so it looks smooth and as natural as possible. Start with your legs and blend them down to your feet, without applying any tan directly on your feet, just blend with what is left on the mitt. Do the same things with your arms and hands. When tanning your stomach, chest and back, blend it up to your neck then move on to the next step. I recommend St Moritz’s tan as it is cheap and amazing value for money. You can purchase this form Savers, Superdrug or Boots alongside the tanning mitt. Tanning mitts can be put in the washing machine to extend their life.
Step 5- Face Time
Using a dense makeup brush or beauty blender, apply the tan directly to the face. Make sure that there is no line between the tan you blended up your neck and the tan you are applying to your face, the transition should be as seamless as possible before moving on to the next step!
Step 6- Let the tan work it’s magic
Once the tan has been applied all over and you’ve hopefully got someone to do your back for you, it’s a waiting game. Every tan is different and will state on the bottle how long it needs to be left on for. I usually find the best thing to do is sleep in it over night. If so, I suggest purchasing a tanning sleeping bag to save your bed sheets. I wish I had thought of this sooner, I would have saved plenty sheets and pillow cases! Search for a ‘Tanzee’ online and see what you can find within your budget.
Step 7- Wash off
Now you’ve let your tan develop, it’s time to wash it off. Make sure the temperature of the shower isn’t too hot as this causes more tan to come off then necessary. In a warm shower, let the water run over your body and watch until the water runs clear.
Step 8- Moisturise, again!
Patting yourself dry after the shower is vital as you don’t want to rub the tan away. You have probably guessed it, then we moisturise, again. Dry skin will be a distant memory once you put this tan routine to the test! For a darker tan, you could use a tinted moisturiser at this point, however some of these can leave tan marks on clothing and bed sheets so be careful!
Step 9- Keep up the good work
You’ve put in the work to get your tan looking as flawless as it is, so don’t let it all go to waste! Make sure you moisturise every day, especially after every shower to keep your tan looking the best it can.
Step 10- REPEAT
Once your tan starts to fade or come off, start from step 1 again!
By Ava Monaghan