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How To Get The Perfect Fake Tan

Sydney Lifestyle Blog

Summer is fading but your glow doesn’t have to go

Although it’s still warm, summer is over and the cold hands of winter are slowly reaching out. I love breaking out my favourite jackets but what I don't love about the change of season is that it occasionally leaves my skin looking and feeling as as the winter sky itself. Are you relating? Then the solution for you is a faux glow! Now this doesn’t mean maximising colour depth so you look like you just stepped off a plane from the Bahamas, but a natural tone can take the edge off our pale skin and freshen us up.

Regardless of whether you’re self tanning at home or having a professional spray tan applied in a salon, it’s important to begin with a blank canvas that is fresh and clean. This provides the perfect foundation to build out your golden masterpiece with flawless streak free results, but avoiding the correct preparation can bring even the best professional efforts undone.

So where to start…

Spray tan mitt

Exfoliation; What it is all about and why is it so great?

Simply put, for a tan to be smooth and even, the skin you’re applying the tan on has to be smooth and even too. Freeing the surface of your skin from dead skin cells not only feels amazing, but it helps your skin look great and it provides the perfect canvas for your golden master piece. Doing a good scrub the day before you plan to tan is best and you should remove any existing fake tan build up you might have. Using an exfoliating mitt available at professional salons is perfect as they’re designed specifically for this purpose, which can mean less effort for you! If you use a body scrub that is oil based or has oil in it then you should avoid these within the 24 hours prior to your tan application as they act as a barrier. Other great benefits of a good scrub: it will increase your blood circulation and encourage new skin cells to come through. This means you are tanning the freshest skin so you maximise the longevity of your tan AND you avoid those nasty patches as your tan fades away!!

TIP: Taking your time to scrub in small circular motions from your ankles up is the most effective and will allow for consistency of motion and pressure which will help you achieve a balanced result.

Hair Removal

Some people say waxing the day before your tan is ok. Personally I have found that at least 48 hours is best as this allows your skin time to settle so your tan can properly adhere to you. NEVER wax post tan as it removes your colour. I have found shaving can be done within 24 hours prior to tan application however this can change for individual skin so its best to get your hair removal done as far in advance as possible.

TIP: The act of shaving lightly exfoliates you so doing this after you’ve tanned can remove a little colour, so it’s best to get it out of the way first.

Avoid applying deodorant, moisturiser, perfume and body oil. These all act as barriers to your tan adhering to your skin. This means you will not get a true or even colour , if you get any colour at all so it’s important to thoroughly clean your skin of these products prior to tanning.

TIP: Some ingredients found within these products (such as aluminum in some deodorants) can react with the tanning solution and turn your skin a scary green colour so be sure to remove it all!

Self tanning before and after

Development Time

It’s important to leave the solution on your skin for the recommended development time. Washing a solution off early can mean you don't get the result you were aiming for. If you’re tanning with a professional in a salon then your technician will be able to guide you on when to shower otherwise you should follow the instructions on the bottle of your at home solution.

TIP: Using soap and body wash within the first 8 hours can sometimes stop the development of your colour particularly for 2 hour wash and wear tans. Be sure to check the instructions of your at home solution or check with your technician for what products you should use and when you should use them.

So whether it’s a pre-holiday tan, you have a special occasion or you just want to freshen yourself up you’re now armed with the facts to get started for your best fake tan yet!

It’s time to get Glowing!


Written by Jess Orford-Garde

Owner of Glow Bar Spray Tan Studio, Bondi Beach.

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