There are a million articles on the internet about the things you can do to ensure an even, streak free tan. But let’s cut to the chase. We don’t have time for that.
If you’re a tanning newbie and just want to get it right the first time, these are the two steps you need to remember.
Exfoliating essentially means getting rid of dead skin, dirt and bacteria. Although skin cells naturally turn over every two weeks or so, manually exfoliating gets the skin in its best condition so that you have a smooth canvas to work with.
As well as preparing for a tan, exfoliating the skin also removes toxins and can improve overall blood circulation, so it’s a great step to add in to your skin routine even when you’re not tanning.
Some of the most popular ways to exfoliate are by dry brushing, using a body scrub or using an exfoliating mitt in the shower or bath. Any of these methods are effective, however it’s important to make sure that the exfoliator is not too harsh on the skin.
If you skip this step self tan can cling to dry patches on the skin and over-develop, which is what causes the dark spots resulting in an uneven tan. This is most common around dry areas such as the elbows, knees, hands and feet.
Which brings us perfectly to point number two:
A great tip to avoid the aforementioned dry patches is to apply a small amount of moisturiser to these dry areas before applying self-tanner, which will prevent the tan from overdeveloping.
Once the recommended processing time has passed and you wash off the guide colour, you should not apply body moisturiser straight away. This will prevent the tan from developing to a deeper colour. However from day two, the most important step to extend the life of your tan is to moisturise.
Keeping the skin hydrated will stop the tan from flaking off and fading prematurely, resulting in an even tan that fades naturally. After 7 days or so, you’ll be ready to repeat the tanning process and remove any leftover tan by – you guessed it – exfoliating, the circle of tanning is a beautiful thing.