Katie Wright gives the low down on creating a natural fake tan.
When you’ve been starved of sun for months and a natural tan isn’t an option, fake tan is the next best thing.
But when sunless tanning goes wrong, it really goes wrong, with brown streaks, dark patches and a face that doesn’t match your body.
“We recently conducted a survey and found that one in three women have been shamed for wearing tan, and this is usually because of bad application,” says Michaella Bolder, St. Tropez skin finishing expert. “Our new campaign You Set The Tone aims to put an end to tan shaming.”
Here are eight self-tan fails and experts’ advice on how to avoid them...
1. Your tan is too dark
“The quickest way of lightening it up is to lift off a layer by sitting in a warm bath for 10 minutes,” says Amanda Harrington, who uses hand-brushed contouring technique, and has announced her first range of products to use at home.
“Go in with a body scrub to wash the body. Finish by applying moisturiser to lock in that new-found colour. If the tan is super dark, repeat this process a few hours later, once you’ve let your skin calm down.”
2. Your tan is too light
“If you want to go darker, don’t be tempted to layer even more product on straight away, it won’t take your shade of bronze deeper and may clog up the work you’ve already done,” Carly Hobbs, Sienna X brand ambassador and professional tanner, says.
“Allow your light layer of tan to develop, rinse it off completely, then go in again.
Sienna X Q10 Tinted Self Tan Mist, £21.99, Superdrug
Tancream Premium Sun Protection, £44.95
3. You’ve got some darker patches
“Before applying, make sure your skin is as smooth as possible, as self-tan is attracted to rough, drier areas,” says Megan Potter, Superdrug head of haircare, skincare and suncare. “The Solait Dual Action Exfoliating Mitt is great to use in the shower first.”
Apply an oil free moisturiser on your hands, wrists, elbows, knees, feet and ankles, before you load up your mitt with tan.
St. Tropez Purity Bronzing Water Gel, £22, Boots
4. Your tan sweats off
Trainer socks, bikinis and bras rub where things get extra warm and buff the bronze away. To prevent this, post-tanning, work a little translucent make-up setting powder over sweaty areas.
5. Your tan is streaky
Streaks can be due to not using a clean or fresh tanning mitt. Using your hands can leave invisible lines in your tan that show as streaking. To correct, mix a bit of lemon with baking powder and dab a little bit on gently with a flannel or sponge.
Or dive into the swimming pool to use the chlorine to start the removal process. Then spend time in the steam room.
Sienna X Eraser Self Tan Remover and Mitt, £19.99, Superdrug