I wish I could be one of those beautiful, milky goddesses with a complexion like Devonshire clotted cream; embracing pale skin and rocking the flawless hues with which they were born …
But I’m not. Unfortunately not so much a flawless, silky smooth faced goddess, I am more erring on the ghostly, blotchy side. Thankfully the Gods of beauty make up for the errors of their creations with a handy, bottled golden glow!
I always feel healthier with a #tan and often change it up between a deep, bronzed, just left St Tropez look and a simple natural, olive skinned glow. I have a few firm favourites I cycle between to achieve the perfect base and a top tan …
Prepping the skin is the most important part of any tanning routine to get rid of any dry patches that tanning products may cling to. I like to soak in a hot bubble bath to lift any remaining #tan and scrub with an exfoliator to remove it and leave me with a smooth, blank canvas fresh for tanning!
I can’t get enough of the Ocean Salt Scrub from Lush at the moment! The refreshing formula of rich, silky avocado butter, coconut oil and seaweed keeps your skin soft, smooth and conditioned and the coarse sea salt is excellent for scrubbing and buffing to get rid of dry skin and any stubborn left over tan scraps.
To moisturise any dry areas before I apply my tan, any every day moisturiser does the trick. Something not too thick that soaks in quickly is perfect and at the moment I’ve been using Neutrogena Norwegian Formula which is a great moisturiser for every day use.
I pay particular attention to underarms, elbows, knees, ankles and apply a generous amount to my face to stop it drying out from the tan and also to achieve a lighter finish!
I’ve tried lots of different application tools and tested all of the trends from makeup sponges to bare hands and always revert back to my trusty tanning mitt.
I use a double sided mitt so that I can alternate sides during application – this stops the tanning mitt becoming too saturated with product and ensures a smoother application.
The mitt I’m loving at the moment is the GLMR Works Marvel Mitt from taneraser.com which has a luxurious, soft velour finish and is machine washable so has lasted me almost a year so far!
To get a gorgeous golden glow the product I’ve been reaching for lately is the St Moriz Instagrad Ultra Dark formula which you can pick up in Superdrug.
The product promises “a fabulous instant ultra dark tan, plus building a maximum tan underneath.” I personally don’t agree with the ‘instant’ claim. Although the guide colour does show immediately and is a deep, definite tan; it’s nowhere near even or smooth enough to get away with as a tan in it’s own right. I also cannot stand the just tanned feeling and prefer to sleep during the developing stages and this tan is no different. I therefore apply before bed and usually leave 8 – 10 hours overnight before washing off.
Once it is rinsed it leaves behind a beautiful, golden tan with a perfect even finish and long lasting effect.
I always shower off with a body wash to get rid of that sticky top layer of tan, despite advice to rinse with water only. I’ve never found this negatively affects the outcome or longevity of my tan. My current favourite body wash is the Body Shop Coconut Shower Cream which is super moisturising!
To keep my skin soft and my tan as smooth as possible I use an exfoliating body wash each time I shower. The St Moriz Exfoliating Skin Primer is perfect for every day use.
Although technically formulated for prepping the skin before you tan, I don’t find it abrasive enough to lift tan off the skin but it is ideal for keeping skin polished and stop dry areas accumulating.
Finally to keep my tan lasting as long as possible I rely on a gradual tanning lotion which is great for moisturising your skin while adding a touch of colour. I’ve tried every gradual tanner going from budget to high end and nothing beats the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Natural Bronze Gradual Tanning Moisturiser which you can pick up from Home Bargains for under £5.
This formula is the fastest drying gradual tanning lotion I’ve ever used which I love as I cannot stand that sticky residue a lot of products leave behind. This makes it perfect for using morning or night as I’m confident I can get dressed without affecting the outcome of my tan.
The colour this product leaves behind is quite amazing for a gradual tanning lotion and actual rivals a lot of ‘proper’ tanning products I’ve used in the past. It’s so good I often rely on this solely to achieve a glow, especially during the winter months when my skin is quite dry.
That concludes the run down of my current favourites for achieving perfectly bronzed skin. I’m always keen to test out new products so I’d love to hear of any recommendations from your tanning routine!