Self-tanning concerns, sorted

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Self-tanning can be tricky and once you’ve had one bad experience, it can be hard to recover.

But we believe that if you have the will to achieve a flawless, golden tan, there is a way. So no matter what your fake tan concern is, there’s an answer.

Here are some of the most common problems self-tanning poses and how they can be overcome.

RELATED: 6 of the best express tanning products

RELATED: How to keep your tan lasting all week long

How do I stop fake tan streaks?

Nobody wants to look like an orange zebra, so to avoid fake tan streaks you must take extra care prepping your skin. Before applying fake tan, you need to make sure you’ve done a thorough hair removal job and exfoliated meticulously (particularly in dry areas like the elbows and knees). This will ensure there are no dead skin cells or uneven surfaces which can cause a streaky finish.

bh recommends: Trilogy Exfoliating Body Balm and Bondi Sands Body Scrub

It’s also a good idea to apply a touch of moisturiser or balm to your knees, elbows and any other areas you find particularly dry or creased, so the colour applies over the skin smoothly.

Applying your tan with a mitt will also help to stop streaks, as it spreads the colour out more evenly than hands and fingers. Most are made of a soft, velvet-like material, which buffs the colour into the skin for a softened, more airbrushed finish. So even if you do experience streaks, the lines will at least be softer and less noticeable.

bh recommends: Tan Tootie Tan Mitt Duo 

What’s the best tan for people with pale skin?

It’s cruel isn’t it, how the people who’d appreciate a tan the most have the hardest time finding the right product? But even the fairest of them all can achieve bronzed skin, it just might take some testing.

If you’ve tried fake tans in the past and found they look too orange, try out a tan that is green-based like St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, Le Tan Instant Dark Bronze, Tan Tootie Self Tanning Mousse, and Bondi Sands Tanning Mousse in Light/Medium.

If you’re apprehensive, test out the colour on an area that nobody will see like your stomach or upper thigh. Then you can see what the result will look like before applying to your entire body.

Or if no matter what, the colour is always too dark – opt for a gradual tan. That way you can build the colour up slowly and subtly until you reach the colour you want. Just remember to wash your hands afterwards! The moisturiser-like appearance can trick you into forgetting.

bh recommends: Natio Sun-Kissed Glow Gradual Tan Lotion, Dove Summer Glow Gradual Self Tan Body Lotion and Essano Coconut Oil Certified Organic Gradual Tan

How do I make sure my tan isn’t patchy?

Patchiness usually occurs because of two reasons. The first being that you simply missed spots upon application. This can easily be avoided by using a tan with a colour guide (so you can see where it’s being applied). Always apply in front of a full-length mirror with good lighting and make sure you lift up both arms during application, as the underside is often missed.

The second cause for patchiness is when the tan wears off the skin. Try not to wear any tight clothing or a wire bra straight after tanning, as it can rub the tan off before it develops. In the days following your tan, make sure to moisturise so that the tan fades evenly – dry or cracked skin can also make tan come off in patches.

Should I tan my face or not?

This is completely down to personal preference. Tanning your face as well as your body will ensure you have the same, even colour from top-to-toe and you may find you even need less make-up because you already have a sunkissed glow.

If you would like to tan your face, there are plenty of options. Just make sure to do a patch test if you’re prone to sensitivity. However, if you’d prefer not to tan your face that’s totally fine too. Just make sure the foundation you’re using matches your tan and is blended down your neck for a flawless transition.

bh recommends: Lancôme Self-Tanning Face GelElla Baché Great Face Tan Without Sun, Bronze by La Mav® Anti-Ageing Face Tan Serum and The Body Shop Honey Bronzing Gel for Face

How do I stop fake tan from staining my sheets?

If your day-to-day schedule means the only way you can tan is overnight, always look for self-tans that are transfer-resistant. However, this unfortunately doesn’t guarantee stain-free sheets (especially if it’s a hot summers night) so opt for darker bedding or a self-tan sheet protector. (Yes! That’s a real thing that exists!)

Alternatively, try a dry tanning oil like the ulta3 Oh So Tan Self-Tanning Dry Oil, which you can apply in the morning and dress practically straight after. It dries so quickly upon application and doesn’t feel sticky throughout the day. Then you simply shower before bed at night and your sheets will remain tan free!

Or if that’s still not an option for your schedule, try the St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower. You can apply it every time you shower and you only need to leave it on for three minutes before washing it off. Use it every day after your body wash to slowly build up your sunkissed colour.

Are there any tanning products that don’t smell like fake tan?

As far as we know, there is no such thing as a fragrance-free fake tan. BUT these days there are tans that have a clean, fresh smell like Rimmel London Sun Shimmer Self Tan Mousse, a coconut scent like JBronze Dark Tanning Mousse or something a little fruity like Tan Tootie Natural Self Tanning Mousse. It’s just a matter of finding which smell you prefer!

How do I make my tan last longer?

Following the prep steps mentioned above will help your tan last longer from the very beginning as it’s applied to fresh, smooth skin. But after your tan has developed, it’s also crucial to moisturise every day or use a tan extender like Bronze by La Mav® Tan Extender.

When showering, use soap-free body washes and avoid ones with exfoliating beads so that you’re not stripping or scrubbing off your tan.

Watch how bh’s Lauren keeps her tan lasting all week long here.

Are there any alternatives to fake tan?

If you’re still not sold on self-tan, there are still options for you. Sally Hansen Airbush Legs Makeup is make-up for your body that will cover bruises, veins or those annoying red dots, without the commitment of a tan. Just rub it in for even colour and coverage, and then wash it off with soap and water when you’re done.

Do you like to self-tan? Are there any other fake tan problems you’d like us to solve?

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