Tanning season hasn’t been easy this year. First, the skies were filled with smoke, so it probably wasn’t safe to be outside too much. And now the coronavirus has kept us inside yet again (for the most part, anyways).
And while restrictions are easing in some areas, by the time we fully come out of this, we’ll likely be smack bang in the middle of winter – not ideal weather to be going to the beach for a tanning sesh. Especially if you’re new to the whole self-tanning game (first year uni kids, I know you might feel this).
I’ve honestly lost most of my glow during lockdown (rip) – so it means a lot of you, like me, will be starting fresh with our tan-game. So I’ve whipped up some tips for all you starters, along with some handy suggestions from our mates at Bondi Sands, to help you get that tan glow while you’re in iso.
#1 Create The Perfect Canvas
I would argue nailing the base is probably one of the most important steps in achieving the perfect glow. If you want your tan to look smooth, soft, and just overall perfect, you have to start by exfoliating and moisturising.
Use something like an Exfoliation Mitt to remove dead skin cells. They can make tanning products look flaky and patchy when they’re dry, so it’s super important to smooth your skin before you tan. Make sure you exfoliate at least one day before self-tanning, so that the tan doesn’t seep into your pores. And don’t forget to exfoliate your face!
Moisturising is also important for smooth skin. If you’re exfoliating the day before you tan, make sure you moisturise your whole body when you get out of the shower. If you’re pressed for time though, just focus on the areas that can get the most dry, like your elbows, knees, hands and feet. Dry areas like these can make the tan look patchy when it’s dry, because the product clings to the dryness of these areas.
#2 Find The Right Shade For You
Did I have the worst self tanning experience ever? Yes. Did I learn my lesson? No. Am I a Dorito? Yes. Do I think it’s funny? Also yes. 😂
— taylor (@TaylorKail3) May 15, 2020
We’ve all seen people with tans that look just a bit too dark for them. And if you’re a first time tanner, you probably want it to look natural for you. More of a glow, than a orangey disaster. The first time I used self-tanning products, I started with the lightest possible shade because I was so nervous about it looking too dark.
Now though, I use darker shades because I’m more comfortable with how they look. I’d suggest this approach for first timers, just so that you can be chill with it an decide what works for you. For first time tanners, try using Self Tanning Foams, because the guide colour will show you where you’ve already applied the product, and if there are any streaks visible.
I started with a Light/Medium Foam initially, and I’ve been using a Dark Foam for about two years now. I can’t imagine using anything else tbh. It looks great every time, and it doesn’t smell super strongly of fake tan like other brands I’ve seen friends use.
#3 Use The Best Self-Tanning Tools
To get the best tan, you’ve got to use the best tools. The top three I’d say that are necessary to self-tanning are an Exfoliation Mitt, a Self-Tanning Mitt, and a Back Applicator.
We chatted about the Exfoliation Mitt earlier, and the Self-Tanning Mitt should be fairly self explanatory. But it helps the product apply smoothly, and keeps your hands clean and free from product buildup.
You might also DREAD at the idea of trying to tan your back. Getting into complicated yoga poses so that we can get to those hard to reach places ain’t a vibe. So try giving the Self Tan Back Applicator a go – it’s super easy to use, and effortlessly provides a perfectly smooth, glowing tan all over.
#4 Give It Some Time
Now comes the part of tanning I dislike the most – the waiting for it to ~dry~. You can either apply it before bed, let it dry a little, and then sleep in loose, dark clothing on dark sheets, so that your tan doesn’t transfer (trust me, it is a proper pain to try and get tan stains out of white clothes and sheets). Or, you can apply it in the morning and let it develop throughout the day.
Personally, I usually apply it in the evening, wait a bit then wash it off. But it’s up to you, just read the details on the bottle/product before you try anything chaotic! Most bottles usually suggest leaving it on for one to six hours, but it won’t kill you if you choose to sleep with it on. And honestly, most people I know sleep with their tan on.
#5 Show Your Glow
10/10 recommend self tanning for a HUGE confidence boost
— jessica 🍻 (@JessicaaMarieeM) May 16, 2020
Here we are, the last step to getting the perfect iso glow, with minimal fuss and without your room/bathroom looking like a horror scene.
Just quickly jump back in the shower and rinse off the product with water until the water runs clear, and then gently use your towel to pat yourself dry. Then go show off that fresh glow girl, you deserve it.
Are you a first time tanner? Welcome, darling. If you’re still a bit unsure about the whole process, and want some more info – check out Bondi Sands’ blog on beginner tips for tanning. They go into a bit more detail on our tips above, and they’ll help you get that perfect glow, for whatever the occasion is. You can also check out all of their most purchased products here. Now go and get that glow, gal!