I don’t know whether you have noticed this but the days are getting distinctly longer.
I mean, obviously longer days bring the inevitable thoughts of nice treats like holidays, warm summer evenings and perhaps the odd BBQ – but it also brings thoughts of the dreaded tan. I understand why us Irish are addicted to the stuff, on the plus side, god forgot to give us snakes or poisonous spiders, on the minus, he seems to have forgotten to give us any kind of skin pigment. It’s not like we see the sun all that much, winter or summer, to get the stuff naturally, so as a country it’s probably no surprise we all need a touch of the tango here and there.
More than anything, the spritz and go is a recipe for beauty disaster. I mean it’s OK going on, but there’s just too many ways in which to mess the whole thing up. If the lights not right you can’t tell if the colour is merely a delicate shade of brown or more simply Umpa-Lumpa orange. OK, I accept that if your in a rush your bound to miss the juicy bits, but if you leave the lid open for more than ten minutes the stuff dries out making it virtually impossible to apply. Worst of all, for me at least, it’s the elbows and knees, which no matter how I try never seem to absorb the stuff in less than greedy quantities. It would be nice, just once, if I could actually get something that actually looks like a tan.
So just how do you avoid the common mistakes? Here’s our top tips!
Smoothing away dead skin means your tan will go on evenly. Before you think it’s just another cosmetics industry conspiracy for companies to fool you into buying another product, think again. Some soap and a loufa or shower puff should do what’s needed if you scrub your skin in circular motions – easy!
Tick tock tick
Always wait at least six hours before hopping in the shower even if the product tells you otherwise, the longer you wait the better your chances in the depth of colour and streak free stakes.
It’s the knees and elbows that always cause me problems so I was delighted to hear that a dab of water based mosturiser will prevent over absorption avoiding that patchy look.
Wash your hands
Scrubbing your hands every four – five minutes means you’ll avoid the orange palm look, just remember to apply a light tan to your palms once your finished. White palms are such a fake bake faux pas !
Let there be light
If possible avoid artificial light when checking if the depth of colour is OK. Bright, artificial light works well for spotting the blotchy bits but is useless when it comes to ensuring you don’t leave the house bright orange. Always check the colour next to a window and if you don’t have the luxury of an extra pair of eyes step away from the mirror to check for streaks.
And the biscuits….
Sadly if your using a gradual tan this one cannot be avoided. Fake tan contains DHA which is a chemical often derived from plant sources such as the sugar beets and sugar cane. When DHA reacts with your skin it releases a biscuit like smell. Better get used to this ….. it’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
Learning to love fake tan might be for the best afterall. On the plus side, tan in a can is better for you than the sunbed and apart from the odd blotchy facebook photo the health defects are merely cosmetic. A touch of minor embarrassment. When it comes to the side-effects related to using sun-beds I’ll take my chances with the paint rather than in the oven.