Fake tan can be tricky business. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got the best fake tan, but even with the most fool-proof formula, you can still end up reaching for the fake tan remover. But don’t worry because beautyheaven is here to help you acheive the flawless fake tan of your dreams.
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Whether you’re dealing with streaks, can’t get the colour right or are finding yourself a little sensitive when it comes to fake tan, we’ve got all your tanning dilemmas solved.
The issue: You exfoliate, moisturise and blend thoroughly but still get streaks
The answer: A seamless back-from-the-Bahamas bronze starts long before you apply the colour, so take a closer look at your pre-tan prep.
Choose a scrub rather than an AHA exfoliant as any chemical residue left on your skin may interfere with tanning agents and promote patches. Also keep your shower tepid and ensure you’re completely dry before applying self-tan because water and perspiration can interfere with the tanning process too. Finally, make sure your moisturiser has a non-greasy finish and is evenly absorbed before you apply any colour – if it’s too wet, the tan may not ‘grab’ your skin uniformly.
Best for prep:
Manicare Exfoliating Gloves, $7.99
Sally Hansen Pre-Tan Exfoliator, $10.95
Skin Doctors Supermoist Body, $49.95
Sebamed Body Lotion, from $13.50
When it comes to application, a tinted formula that shows precisely where you’ve covered will help you avoid streaks. Also, don’t forget adequate drying time – your tan should be matte to touch before you dress.
Neutrogena Instant Bronze Lotion, $20.95
L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Tinted Gel, $21.45
The issue: You’re sensitive to self-tan
The answer: Before you swear off sunless tan for life, Emma Hobson from the International Dermal Institute suggests you try one without common irritants like alcohol, perfume and preservatives and seek out soothing, sensitive-friendly ingredients.
Vani-T Liquid Sun Self Tanning Mist, $29.95 – Free from alcohol, perfumes and preservatives
Avene Self-Tanning Lotion, $27.50 – Contains 75 per cent soothing Avene Thermal Water
Asyana Natural Sunless Tan Dark Bronze Tanning Lotion, $39.95 – Includes comforting allantoin, aloe vera and essential oils
Still reacting? DHA is the likely culprit and, because this is the active ingredient in all tans that stain the skin, you’ll need to rely on temporary bronzers instead. The colour will wash off with soap and water, but it will look just as glamorously golden as self-tan in the short-term.
Air Stocking in Bronze, from $29
Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, $27.25
Jungle Bronze Skin Gloss, $39.95
For a professional bronze, Aviva Labs does a great temporary Tango Tan ($40) and is available in salons nationally. Call 1300 363 144 for a location near you.
The issue: You need colour quick
The answer: Thanks to new tanning technologies, going faux’s getting faster and faster. There are now tans that not only speed-develop in one to three hours but also include instant bronzers to get you glowing in the meantime.
Clinique Quick Bronze Tinted Self-Tanner Mousse for Body, $33
St Tropez Auto-Bronzant Lotion, from $39.95
The issue: You’re fair and frightened of overdoing it
The answer: Trying to take yourself from Gemma Ward to Gisele in one move can be risky; it’s much safer, and convincing, to develop your tan gradually. Tanning moisturisers impart a subtle, sun-kissed glow at first, which then deepens with each application to help you tailor-make your tan. A word of warning, though: tan-infused moisturisers still need to be blended carefully or they can leave you with giveaway streaks.
Slowly but surely
Sunsense Everyday Radiance, $9.55
Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion, from $6.99
For your face
Johnson’s Holiday Skin Facial Moisturiser, $9.99
St Tropez Everyday Face, $29.95
The issue: You’ve messed up
The answer: “If a freshly developed tan has gone patchy, use a bronzing powder or crème [with no DHA] to even out the colour while it fades,” instructs Narelle Moyle, tanning guru from Summaglo Tan and Makeup Bar in WA. “If you go patchy after five or six days, soak in the bath for at least 15 minutes to soften your skin before using exfoliating gloves to slough off the tan. Then dry yourself vigorously with your towel to take off residual colour.”
St Tropez Self Tan Remover, $28.95 – Takes some of the colour out of the stain
Velvotan Correction Wipes, $6.95 – Reduces stains up to six hours after application
Ella Bache Great Tanblocker, $19 – Neutralises tanning agent if applied within 30 minutes
The issue: You’re bronzed up but turning red
The answer: Your faux glow won’t guard you from UV rays, so tan by night and protect by day. Some formulas contain SPF, but remember you will still need to apply additional sunscreen throughout the day if venturing outdoors.
Sunless with SPF
Clinique Radiant Bronze Face & Body Tinted Self-Tanner SPF15, $31
Dermalogica Protective Self Tan SPF15, $43
Guinot Soleil de Peau SPF12, $45Have you encountered any of these tanning problems?