My Foolproof Fake Tanning Routine | GIFTED

Like many people, the sight of sunshine has me reaching for the fake tan. I'm a huge advocate for getting my colour from a bottle, as your skin is actually damaged as soon as your skin changes colour from the sun, whether it's brown or red, so it's always best to protect your skin from those harmful UV rays and fake your tan instead. You won't get awkward strap marks that way either!

Preparing to tan
The first step in my tanning routine is to thoroughly exfoliate, especially areas like my ankles, elbows, and knees, which are usually drier. By far my favourite method of exfoliation is a pair of scrubby loofah gloves, I find them to be really thorough. If you find that the tops of your arms get that lovely pimply feeling, these will be your best friends!

Next I moisturise, adding either an extra layer or a thicker one to the aforementioned scaly bits. Once that has fully soaked in (and I mean fully- don't go jumping the gun and getting patchy now) I proceed with my tan. The formula I use depends on the look I'm after and how much time I have. I do prefer to use tans that sink into the skin and develop rather than instant tans that can transfer onto your clothes or sofa, or sweat off during their wear.

a pair of pink sunglasses, a purple fake tanning mitt, and a bronze tube of gradual tan on a white background
Choosing a fake tan
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If I want a darker colour I grab my trusty St Moriz medium mousse. I've used this stuff for years now because I like that the mousse is dark to give you a guide colour, it has a green pigment in it to give you a nice olive undertone, it soaks in pretty fast, and it's super cheap, too. I just shake it up, pump a big old handful onto a tanning mitt, and apply it in strokes rather than rubbing it in. Then I stand with my arms held out while it dries, and hop into bed to let it develop.

In the morning I wake up looking like a bronze goddess mahogany wardrobe, and on more than one occasion my mum has greeted me with "what on Earth have you done to yourself?!". Charming. However, this is just the top layer of tan, and after hopping in the shower it will wash away, leaving a lighter, even colour on your skin, which you can build up by applying another coat in the evening.

My preferred method is a gradual tan. I do find that there is more risk of streaking since they take longer to soak in and don't have a guide colour, but the moisturising base nourishes my skin to add to the healthy glow, and the tan wears off in a nicer way. 

I still follow the exfoliate and moisturise steps, but then rub the tan in with my hands rather than using a mitt, and make sure to wash them well straight after. At the moment I'm using the Sunkissed natural gradual tan* which is 95% natural, cruelty free, and smells like a salted caramel coconut dream. Even with the fragrance and rich moisturiser, it hasn't broken me out on my face, which is always a worry when I try new formulas!

I was sent the light-medium shade which is very subtle, so I'd recommend it to my super pale pals or tanning newbies, but they also offer a medium-dark option if you'd prefer a deeper colour.

After tanning
If I have made a mistake and ended up with patches, or worse, the dreaded Tan Hands, I reach for a good old tube of Colgate. It sounds strange, but toothpaste works a treat to scrub away excess tan!

Whichever formula I choose, I usually shave the day after applying it. Many people recommend people shaving between exfoliating and moisturising so you take off any tan as you shave, but my leg hair grows like bamboo so I'd rather take that risk and have smooth legs on the day I'm showing them off.

When I do go out with my new golden skin on show, I make sure to add a layer of SPF, firstly because skin needs sun protection whatever its colour, and secondly because I don't want to get a natural tan and be all different shades at once. My absolute favourite one is Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration, which soaks in fast and feels like any other moisturiser, so there's no excuse to skip this step.

Are there any fake tan tricks I have missed?

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