It is the bane of my life.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind being “pale and interesting” the majority of the time, I am after all a blue-eyed natural blonde and that’s just the skin colouring I got given to compliment it.
What isn’t so simple though is how to tackle fairer than fair limbs on W-day if you are wearing a white or ivory gown. I certainly didn’t want my body to morph into the silk folds.
And really what are the options?
A bit of real sunshine?
A bit of fake sunshine?
Ah now then…… this is the bit where I have a few seconds preaching ( apologies in advance if I sound like your Mum/Gran/Teacher from school)
DO NOT what ever you do take a few trips to the electric beach.
Sunbeds are not big. They are not clever. And they are not safe.
I had a many a dalliance with MR UV tube between the ages of 17 and 19. I worked in a big fancy department store, the girls I worked with were all glossy and lithe and VERY VERY brown so naturally I wanted a bit of that seemingly calafornian glow for myself.
And do you know what my cuppupance for 2 years of beachy bronze was?
Being diagnosed with melanoma at the age of 25. I have a rather unattractive scar down my right calve to prove it.
I really don’t want anyone ever to go through the same thing I did. And that’s all I’m saying on the subject.
Right then off my soapbox and on to the point of this post – how to get a great tan in a short space of time without potential skin damage.
Products The RMW Team rate:
1) St Tropez Mousse – great for darker skins in particular, Rebecca’s ( and many an A-lister) favourite.
2) L’Oreal Sublime Bronze – great for medium skins, has a pretty shimmer and is very moisturising, Melissa’s favourite.
3) Piz Buin Summer Sensation – the fair/medium shade is great for pale princesses who need a bit of colour, my favourite.
Fake Tan as some of you will know works by the ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA) reacting with your skin. The more DHA added to the product the “darker” the tan will be. It is also DHA reacting with your skin that gives off that odd biscuity scent. If the hob-nob odour literally makes you want to gag we have found that the Piz Buin and L’Oreal versions above manage to mask the smell reasonably well with a pleasant floral fragrance.
So then – what to do with these bottles of bling……
1) Exfoliate exfoliate exfoliate.
Streakyness ( is that even a word?) is often caused by too much dead skin. I make sure I exfoliate every day for at least 3 days before I intend on application. I use the Body Shop Cocoa Butter exfoliator as it has really nice scrubby bits that feel as though they are actually doing something without making you red raw resembling a giant tomato.
2) Moisturise moisturise moisturise.
I do this every night after a shower anyway but in the run up to tan time I pay extra attention to knees, elbows and other potential flaky areas. I rate Vaseline intensive rescue moisture locking body lotion – unfragranced.
Have to make a point here though, I don’t apply moisturiser just before fake tan, some do I know but I don’t – I get a better result without.
3) Use gloves
I find the tan spreads easier and avoids that tangoed palm look. ( If you don’t use gloves please make sure you scrub your hands afterwards paying particular attention to the nail beds). After removal of gloves be sure to blend tan into the back of your hands using a cotton pad. White hands with brown arms is not a good look either.
…for it to sink in. I know there are these claims of “get dressed in just five minutes!” but I think that’s wishful thinking. I aim for a good twenty minutes of not putting any clothes on ( a good time to paint toenails, give yourself a face mask etc) then I aim to wear something loose and cool. I certainly always wait a good hour before going to bed/putting on my jeans.
(For reference 99% of the time I apply fake tan a few hours before taking myself off to the land of zzzzz. Just be prepared for your white sheets to be not so white if you use a tinted version….)
Of course now if you want a more gradual build up there are lots of products specifically for this purpose on the market. Apply for 4 days or so up to the Big Day and you should be the proud owner of a gorgeous subtle glow.
What we rate:
1) Dove Summer Glow
2) Johnson’s Holiday Skin
3) Piz Buin Summer Sensation gradual tan ( I’ve tried them all and NOTHING beats Piz Buin for me – and it’s not too pricey either)
Certainly practice before your wedding day, ESPECIALLY if you are considering having a “professional” treatment at a salon. I’m not sure any bride would want to resemble an Oompa Loompa.
We would LOVE to hear about your fake tan experiences, the products you rate and why and anything we should know about transforming into bronzed goddesses….
A lot of tanned ( not orange) Love