Our skin has cells in our body called melanocytes. These produce Melanin which gives us the colour of our skin. All skin whether fair or dark produce Melanin. The darker you are the more Melanin you have in your skin. Pale skin has less and some pale skins do not tan at all. Fake tan is an easy, healthy way to get a tan without harm to the skin.
There are many tanning products on the market and finding a tanning product for a pale skin is no longer a problem. From tan accelerators to full body fake tans, there is always something that will adapt to your skin type to either give you a nice healthy glow or a deeper tan. Most tanning products now work with your own individual skin tones, rather than just being one overall colour for everybody. The worry of being orange and streaky is very minimal these days. Self-tans are formulated to work with the natural pigment in your skin, therefore adapting to individuals skin type and tone. There is no concern of looking too dark anymore as the tan will only develop with your skins melanin which is what gives our skin its colour.
Tan accelerators should be used a couple of weeks prior to going on a sun holiday. They are a pre-holiday preparation. Tan accelerators contain specific ingredients that help stimulate an increased product of melanin. This will enable a more even tan once on holiday and prevention of burning. These products prepare, condition and soften the skin.
Elemis Tan Accelerator is a firm favourite with ingredients such as Shea Butter and Macadamia to enhance the skins natural tanning ability. This is applied like a normal body moisturiser to the whole body to give you maximum tanning results whilst in the sun.
Gradual Tanning Moisturisers
Gradual tanning moisturisers are great for those people that are looking for a healthy glow rather than a deep tan. These can be used every day and after just one application a nice even colour is apparent and can be built up over time. These products again are moisturising to the skin.
Decleor Gradual Glow Body Milk is hydrating whilst being lightweight and non-greasy for easy application. This is applied like a normal moisturiser; however it is advised to wipe the palm of your hands after use.
Elemis Total Glow Bronzing Lotion again bronzes, brightens and hydrates the skin for a natural looking tan.
All fake tans can be applied to the face, but it is advised to use one specifically for the face. The best fake tan for the face would be a gradual moisturiser, so that you can build up the colour and not have it too dark to start off with. The Elemis total glow bronzing moisturiser is a perfect one to try as it adjusts to each individual skin tone gradually.
Self Tanning Lotions and Gels
Most brands now will offer a self-tan for a fairer skin that is obviously lighter than the darker tans. Whether they are sprayed on or applied by hand they can give a deeper colour than gradual tanning moisturisers. Most tans will have a guide colour once applied, however this will wash away to leave a nice even healthy colour on your skin. The guide colour is usually there to enable you to see where you have applied the tan as to prevent missed patches and streaking. Using a tanning mitt can give a nice even coverage, however again with all tans if applying by hand it is advised to wear gloves as the palms of the hands can pick up the tan very quickly and remain stained if not careful. A little tip, always best to leave hands and feet till last when tanning and use excess tanning product from the arms and legs onto the hands and feet.
There are many fake tan brands out there so it may be a little daunting when choosing the right one for yourself. The most important thing to remember is to prepare the skin properly first. Exfoliating the skin to remove any dry, dead skin will ensure you have an even looking tan. Depending on how dark you would like your tan to be you can layer it over a few days to build your desired look. Our firm favourites are the Decleor Gradual Glow as this keeps your skin well hydrated as well as beautifully golden and the Elemis total bronzing glow.
Removing Tanning Products
All tanning products will gradually fade over time. However if you want it removing faster or stubborn areas are sticking you can give the body a good exfoliation with an oil based scrub. Warm water also helps to lift the tan so a good soak in an oil based bath is also a good option. Another way to remove stubborn tan is by using rough exfoliation gloves on the skin to buff away the colour from your skin.
What if your fake tan has gone wrong?
If you wake up with streaks on your body or you have patches where you have missed, the best thing to do is firstly have a shower and remove all of the guide colour. With your towel it is important to pat the skin dry rather than rub it as this can affect the tan. If your tan is still looking streaky you should apply a very light layer to the area using a tanning mitt, this will ensure all the skin is covered. Leave this to develop throughout the day and this should disguise the streaks. If it is slightly darker in places you can exfoliate with a body scrub or glove to gently remove the darker patches and even out the colour.