Unless you’ve been jetting all over Europe like the majority of my Instagram feed, it’s likely you’re stuck in the depths of the Australian winter. And while some of us use this time to let our skin breathe and pare back our beauty routine, others (read: me) insist on rocking a golden winter tan at all times. But tanning in winter comes with a whole new set of guidelines to follow. Namely, you want to look like you just happen to be naturally sunkissed – not like you’ve been baking yourself for three months straight at Scorpios in Mykonos.
Thankfully, tanning in winter can still be pared back compared to your summer glow routine. For one thing, all those winter layers dictate that you can skip a few areas of your body and just focus on the skin that will be on show. But you can also keep it simple and natural-looking by making a few smart product switches during the colder months. Here are our top winter tan tips, accompanied by the best fake tan products to use in winter.
#1 Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate
Winter is a particularly flaky time of year for the skin, with the chill making it extra dry. This can make your tan cling to dry patches on your body, causing those dark marks on your skin that have everybody asking if you accidentally knelt in chocolate – never a good look! Get around it by exfoliating regularly in between tans with high performance body exfoliators.
bh loves:Mitten Black Thick Deep Exfoliating Body Mitt, Alba Hawaiian Body Scrub Sea Salt, Alpha-H Liquid Gold Luxe Resurfacing Body Cloths, Stray Bean Simply Coffee Body Scrub ($15.95, straybean.com.au).
#2 Switch up your hair removal method
Shaving your pins in winter, especially without a really good shaving lotion, can make your legs even drier than before! Switch to depilatory creams with hydrating properties or at-home IPL devices that will leave your skin feeling smooth and silky, ready for a fresh coat of tan.
bh loves:SmoothSkin Bare Intense Pulsed Light Hair Removal Device – Black, Remington i-Light Pro + Face & Body IPL Permanent Hair Removal, Nair Sensitive Shower Cream with 100% Natural Coconut Oil plus Vitamin E, Marzena Hair Remover Cream.
#3 Try gradual tan
If you’re looking for a lighter, more subtle tanning option that will allow you to control your level of colour, consider switching to a gradual tan. There are loads of great options that act as daily moisturisers, while sneakily building up your tan over a number of days. So really, it’s the ultimate tan for lazy girls who just want a lovely winter glow without the hassle.
#4 Go temporary
Can’t be bothered with the whole tanning process during the colder months? I totally get and here’s your shortcut – wash-off tan! Wash-off tans are temporary body bronzers that give you a golden faux flow until your next shower. Simply apply and go, then wash off with warm water and you’ll be back to your regular skin tone. Excellent for last minute events or the tan-phobic among us!
#5 Keep it light
The key to a good, natural-looking winter tan is to keep it light. Choose a formula that won’t develop too dark or you’ll risk going a telling shade of orange – not cute! You can now buy tanning products in light to medium shades, as well as tans specially formulated for fair skin tones so you’re guaranteed a natural finish.
#6 Focus on the face
If you only have the patience to get a healthy hue in one area, make it your face. Even the most subtle hint of colour on your face will make you look like you’ve been smashing green smoothies on the daily! There’s now a range of dedicated face tanning products that will have you glowing in as little as five minutes.
Do you use fake tan in winter?