As the weather warms up in our gorgeous city, we’re opting for summery fashions that tend to show quite a bit more skin. Unfortunately, that skin is fish-belly white. Now, we’re certainly not disapproving of day-glo limbs, but it would be rather lovely to be temporarily graced with caramel-coloured flesh.
That said, we are truly fearful of exposing our skin to the suns rays. Sunburns, sun damage and horrific skin cancer give us the heebeegeebees. This summer, we’ve decided to get bronzed without any of the aforementioned risks. We’re opting for sunless tanning. Self-tanners are super-easy to use and offer amazing results, for not too much money.
We asked Sophie Evans, St. Tropez Skin Finishing Expert, to help us correctly prep our skin before applying our self-tanning products.
If you can, Sophie recommends that we exfoliate three days prior to eight hours before our self-tan application. “It’s not the end of the world if you exfoliate immediately before the treatment but if the skin is too smooth and clean sometimes the tan does not stay put (runs on the skin),” she explained.
Note: If you are going to shave your legs (as your form of exfoliation), Sophie recommends doing so at least two hours before applying our self-tanner. “If you are freshly shaved you may find the tan settles into the hair pores, giving a slightly pitted look,” she said.
Sophie suggests that we only need apply moisturiser to severely dry areas of our body – like knees and heels, to prevent them from getting too dark. Applying moisturiser to the entire area to be “tanned” can result in a lighter self-tan colour.
Sophie’s top pick for applying a self-tanning product is the St. Tropez Applicator Mitt. If unavailable, she would recommend using rubber gloves, but only if they fit properly. If they are too big, it can make the application process a challenge. She suggests that we only use our bare hands as a last resort, and that we should use a tan remover, such as the St. Tropez Tan Optimizer Tan Remover right away, to ensure we don’t get Oompa Loompa-coloured hands (our description, not hers!). And don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards, making sure to wipe nails and cuticles as well.
Here are six self-tanners that we’ll be keeping in heavy rotation this summer:
Avène Moisturizing Self-Tanning Lotion ($28; London Drugs)
Bioderma Photoderm Moisturizing Tanning Spray ($19.95; Murale)
Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer ($7.99; Shoppers Drug Mart)
Shiseido Brilliant Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Gel ($32: London Drugs)
Have you tried any of these self-tanners? Which is your fave?