Beauty School 101 | Tanning tips

I’m lucky enough to spend my days surrounded by some proper beauty experts and some truly lovely brands. I’ve picked up so many tips over the years and  am always surprised when something that’s second nature to me, is news to others.

One subject that seems so foreign to many, is tanning. And it’s something that comes up from friends a lot – advice for a flawless tan. 

It’s simple really and so much is in the preparation and aftercare. Whether you’re tanning at home or treating yourself to a professional application, the same rules apply…

  1. Scrub up – exfoliate thoroughly the day before your tan. Preferably with a scrub specifically for tanning (as other might contain barrier ingredients). Exfoliate all over, concentrating on dry areas like knees, ankles, elbows, feet.
  2. Smooth out – shaving should be done the night before so tan doesn’t gather in pores.
  3. Quench skin – dryness is one of the main reasons for a patchy tan, so after removing the worst in point 1, moisturise thoroughly with an oil free, light moisturiser. Why oil free? Oil acts as a barrier on your skin, stopping tan from taking.
  4. No additives – the less you put on your skin on the day of your tan, the better. Makeup, deodorant and perfume can all drastically affect the result, so apply as little as you can stand and make sure you baby-wipe off products you do apply pre-tan.
  5. The right attire – it’s important to feel comfortable during your tan, so wear what makes you feel at ease. It’s perfectly OK to tan in a bikini, underwear or nothing at all – just remember to consider strap marks and knicker lines.
  6. Pay attention – a good therapist will give you thorough advice on how to care for your tan. Take note. Also be aware that your treatment should include attention to detail like wiping around cuticles, feet and smoothing tan around the edges of the hands.
  7. Dress down – wearing dark, loose clothing is important post-tan. Anything too tight, like a bra strap or waist band, will rub the tan off before it’s had a chance to develop. Pay attention to your shoes too  – flip flops are best to prevent patchy tootsies.
  8. Short showers – after letting your tan develop for the specified time, shower off with lukewarm water. Avoid using shower gel (except in those places), keep the shower short and pat skin dry. Now is not the time to wash your hair.
  9. More moisture – keep that skin soft by moisturising daily. Again, with an oil free moisturiser. Oil isn’t just a barrier to tan, it strips it too (handy if you’ve got  a stubborn patch to remove).
  10. Stay even – exfoliate after 3-4 days of tanning to keep the colour smooth..

So pretty simple really, but these points are the difference between patchy and perfect.

If you’re a tanner, is there anything you’d add to the list?


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