Beauty Review: Tanning

16 Jul


Now the sun has finally come out, it’s time to get your skin looking and feeling great so you can feel confident and look gorgeous in your hot pants, crop tops and bikinis. Now, I’m not suggesting that tanned skin equals beautiful, or vice versa, quite the opposite. If you sit out in the sun day-in, day-out, your skin may indeed become that beautiful* golden hue that you’re after, but by virtue of what the sun does to your skin, it will not be beautiful underneath, nor will it be beautiful as you age.

The sun’s harmful UV rays causes considerable damage to your skin. You increase your risk of skin cancer by 20% every single time you lay down in that pesky sun bed, the sun is the single most influential factor in the signs of aging including dark spots, pigmentation and wrinkles, and hold up! Pale skin is just as beautiful as brown skin!

Nonetheless, even though people know all these factors of skin sun damage, they think the look that it achieves is more beneficial than the cost and risks, so they go ahead with spending their income on trying to achieve what their momma didn’t give them – dark skin.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that you become a recluse, sit indoors and never go on holidays, but make sure you pack up the SPF and slap it on regularly; you’ll thank yourselves for it. You reduce your risk of skin cancer, you won’t look 72 at 32 and you won’t get burnt to a frazzle when it hurts to even move. I am, however, suggesting pleading with you not to go on sun beds – there is no good that will come out of using a sun bed – it will prematurely age your skin, damage your eyes, suppress the immune system, and double the cancer risk than if you spent the same length of time in the Mediterranean midday summer sun. I am also pleading with you to re-evaluate the meaning of beauty and suggesting that pale skin is just as beautiful as any other colour.

So, you may now have an image of me, a social recluse with Wednesday Adams skin, protesting against cultural hegemony; partially right, but like the rest of us, I flick through the fashion magazines and get sucked into the idea that tanned skin looks great – makes you look healthier (how ironic!), younger (oh the irony), skinnier etc etc. Amazing how just 90 years ago the magazines were telling us that it was fashionable and desirable t0 be pale, surging all women to use techniques in achieving paler skin than each other, who’d have thunk it? Even now there are products out there for dark-skinned beauties to lighten their skin, yet the light-skinned beauties use products to darken their skin. I say, let’s just show off our true colours with pride; don’t change yourselves!

I’m intelligent enough to know that sunbeds are ridiculous things to use, and clued up enough to know to wear SPF in the sun and not be exposed to it for too long. However, even though I wish social thought was different, it’s not, and I’m not powerful enough to change it, nor am I strong-willed enough to stand up against it (Oh how I wish I was) so I just roll with it and try to obtain this golden tan like everyone else. *sigh*

I do however try to achieve this in a safe and sunless way. FAKE TAN:

There are so many fake tan options out there that I see no reason why you would ever consider anything else but the fake way.

I have spent enough time on the Snooki side of fake tanning that I have learned how to stay on the Jennifer Aniston side. So, I will no longer rant about sun damage and  skin cancer; I will use the rest of this post to relay some advice, tips and reviews on what products to use to achieve a so-called ‘gorgeous’ colour without the sun.



The original way to get a sunless tan was through a lotion which you apply all over the body, let dry, and wait for the magic to happen. One of my favourite fake tan brands is St. Tropez. This Self-Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse product is one of the best out there. It’s worth every penny of the £20.43 it costs. The guide colour helps you see if you’ve missed any patches so there’s no guess-work involved, the mousse is light and easy to apply meaning that it dries very quickly, doesn’t clog pores and is completely streak-free. After 4 hours, wash the guide colour off and voilà! A gorgeous, natural looking tan without spending days in the sun. St. Tropez is a classic and is a good’un!

tanMoisturiser Tan:

Who’d a thought you could get tanned skin as well as moisturised skin, at the same time!? Now, not only are you saving your skin by sunless tanning but you’re actively improving its condition by using a self-tan mixed with a body moisturiser. I have tried lots of types including Dove, Johnson & Johnson’s, L’Oreal, Soltan, Makebelieve, and various own brands. The one I keep going back to though, is Garnier. It’s frequently on offer and you can pick up a large bottle for around £3, I always have at least 2 bottles kept in the cupboard. It goes on easily, isn’t sticky, and it makes your skin look and feel beautiful, as well as keeping it moisturised and healthy. I put it on all over my body about an hour before bed, then when you wake up it has developed into a natural golden tan.

rimmelInstant Tan:

It’s vital you have an instant tan in your beauty box just in case you’ve failed to prepare for a night out and then, before you know it, Saturday night has arrived and you’re still milk bottle white. Instant tan is a true life saver. I have used a variety of instant tans from sprays to mousses to lotions, from big name brands to Primark specials; I have tried and tested them all. My favourite one by far is Rimmel. Available in light or dark and in matte or shimmer, there are options for all. I always go for dark matte. Now, you may think it odd that I’m white as a sheet yet go for the dark option – I am lazy; I’d rather apply a thin layer of dark to get my optimum colour in 2 mins, then several layers of light taking 20. And if it goes wrong, no fear, just wash with soap and water and it’ll come off straight away. Rimmel now also offer a gradual tan within the instant tan so you apply the instant tan for a night on the town while a subtle glow is developing underneath so when you wash it off the next morning (or preferably when you get in – before you transfer the orangey residue of your skin onto the bright white sheets), it leaves behind an effortless tan; perfect.

So, instead of spending £20 on a couple of dangerous and damaging sun-bed tanning sessions, spend £5 on a bottle of tanning lotion and not only will you get so much more bang for your buck, you’ll save your skin from wrinkles, sunburn and cancer, and not only will your skin look healthy but it will actually be healthy too.

Spray Tan:

You can also get a professional spray tan. Available at most spas and salons, you just stand there and let a master tanner spray your entire body. It normally develops after 6 hours, then you wash off and you have a long-lasting deep colour, perfect for special occasions when you can’t risk any slight chance of a tan error. Normally available in a range of brands including Nouvatan, Sienna X, Fake Bake, St Tropez etc.


☼ Exfoliate in the shower before tanning to lift all of those dead skin cells

☼ Moisturise tougher/drier areas such as knees, elbows, hands, nails, wrists, ankles and feet before applying

☼ Use a tanning mitt to apply – it will keep your palms free from tan and spread the tan evenly

☼ Always wash your hands thoroughly after tanning – including your nails, then the last thing you should do is squeeze a small amount of tan on the back of your hand and rub with the back of the other hand.

☼Alternatively, use cotton wool pads to apply a small amount of tan to the back of each hand.

☼ Keep gently exfoliating after you’ve got that tan so it helps your fan to fade naturally and prevent patchiness

☼ Keep moisturising (twice daily) after you’ve got that tan so it locks in hydration and stays put for longer

☼ When applying to your face try to avoid the area between your eyebrows and your upper lip and gently wipe away with a towel

☼ Dot a small amount of Vaseline along your brows and next to your hair line before applying to your face

☼ If you don’t have a willing participant around anxiously anticipating the opportunity to tan your back, use a paint roller to get to places your hands cannot.

☼ If you haven’t got a mitt or latex gloves to hand, just apply the tan with your naked hands and then wash off with a baking soda paste afterwards (Baking soda paste = baking soda mixed with water creating a nice, subtly gritty formula which you rub in your hands and wash away with warm water).

☼ If you want to completely remove your entire tan quickly use the above baking soda paste

☼ Wear dark loose-fitted clothing after you have finished to prevent staining

Tanned model - tanning tips


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2 Responses to “Beauty Review: Tanning”


  1. The perfect way to get a sun tan - July 17, 2013

    […] Beauty Review: Tanning […]

  2. What I Wore: Wedding Guest | Fashion, Beauty and Style. - August 2, 2013

    […] in my hair (My sister’s: Free). I painted my nails a nude colour, and did my own St Tropez tan at home. Not only did I get some crackin’ bargains (Just because it’s a wedding […]

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