When summer comes around, there’s always a bit of begrudging feeling thinking about wearing skirts and shorts and getting your legs out. Concealed for the winter, the lack of Vitamin D has left our bodies looking pasty. But with our lowdown on how to achieve the best sun-kissed skin, it won’t be long before you’re glowing and enjoying the summery weather.
Make the Most of Your Natural Tan
Naturally tanning is an investment, one that you hope will at least see you to the end of summer. To continue looking sun-kissed you have to look after your skin both before, during and after tanning.
Before you get out, prepping your skin is key to maintaining that perfect tan. You should exfoliate your skin a couple of days before, removing dead skin cells for smoother skin. By exfoliating, you’re removing your top, protective layer of skin. Doing it a couple of days before gives your skin a chance to recover, ensuring it won’t appear patchy or burn those more sensitive parts. The same applies for keeping your skin nourished and moisturised. You should do this a few days before when you exfoliate but avoid doing it right before tanning, as the oils can create a barrier.
Know your rays and that protecting your skin from them with SPF won’t stop you tanning. UVA rays, are those that age your skin, whilst UVB rays are the ones that cause you to burn. When buying your sun cream, you need to find one that protects you from both.
SPF 15 protects from 93% of harmful rays, whilst SPF 30 protects your skin from 97%. You can achieve a glowy tan, but ensure you’re keeping your skin as healthy as possible. For tanning, you should opt for oils and sprays, as they are easier to spread and achieve an even application across your body. Starting with a high SPF is recommended when beginning to tan, as your skin will be more sensitive. Once you start to achieve that base tan, you can decrease your SPF.
For the most even, long-lasting tan, be mindful of the clothes you’re wearing to avoid awkward tan lines and ensure you move with the sun throughout the day and turn your body, so all skin is exposed to the sun.
Looking after your skin post-sun is perhaps the most key stage in ensuring you’re looking sun-kissed for longer. After sun care is key, keeping skin moisturised as the sun’s rays will dry out your skin, ultimately leading to flaking and losing your tan. You should buy products with ingredients that work to calm any redness, like aloe vera, that will keep skin looking and feeling nourished and smooth.
Products like Piz Buin’s ‘Aftersun’ not only soothes skin, but also contains tanimel, which boosts the production of tanning pigments. You can therefore achieve a darker tan in the process of treating your skin after naturally tanning. Other brands like Ultrasun and Lancaster, available with huge reductions when shopping with voucher code websites at brands like All Beauty, also offer ranges that assist in repairing skin and topping up that bronzed look. Buying products like these limits the time you spend in the sun. These products allow you to reduce the amount of harmful UVA and UVB rays you’re soaking up and still make your tan last.
MyDeal Pro Tip
Staying safe in the sun
We can’t avoid the sun altogether but we can spend time lounging safely. Remember that no matter how much you prepare, prolonged exposure to the sun is dangerous. Top up your sunscreen every few hours and wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes. You can build a beautiful tan in only an hour a day so there’s no need to risk your health with long lounge sessions. An outdoor sun lounge means you can fit in a quick tan in your own backyard.
Options for a Sunless Tan
Self-Tanning from Home
Much like when tanning naturally in the sun, to achieve the perfect fake tan you need to prepare your skin. You should exfoliate your skin to ensure it is smooth and void of dead skin cells that could create a patchy finish. Cleansing is also key, ensuring your skin is completely clean. You should moisturise your skin and use an oil free product. Oil can act as a barrier between the fake tan and could result in a lacking tan.
Shaving can cause your skin to dry and flake and leaves it feeling sensitive. Giving it time to heal with the help of moisturiser will give you a good base to work from and shave 2 days before.
For tanning your face, you should use Vaseline or a similar product on eyebrows and your hairline to avoid darkening the hairs. You should wear gloves throughout application to ensure your hands aren’t darker than the rest of you and get a buffing mitt to work any build up into your skin. A back brush is also advisable for those harder to reach areas.
Spray Tans with Professionals
When in doubt, get a spray tan from a professional. Remember getting your skin out in the sun, no matter how high a SPF you wear is opening your skin up to harm. Booking yourself in for a spray tan is an inexpensive treatment and the only thing you really have to worry about is getting your bits and bobs out in front of a stranger. Just remember they’ve seen it all before.
Exfoliate, moisturise and shave or wax in the run up to your appointment, giving at least 24 hours between spray tan. You should also dress in loose clothing as tight clothing like bras and underwear could leave your tan looking streaky. Use wipes to remove deodorant to avoid abnormally light arm pits. Aftercare, follow what your beauty technician says as every formula is different and, really, they know best. To keep it topped up, you can build from your professionally done base with gradual tan.
Alice is a writer for My Favourite Voucher Codes, a website which looks to save you money on your online shopping whilst donating 20% of its profits to a different charity each month. As well as writing, she spends her spare time reading, blogging and going on adventures.