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A tan for all seasons

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Author: Val Starr, Posted: Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 12:00

The majority of us know by now there is no such thing as a safe tan; eighty percent of our skin damage is done by the sun. Tanning salons fortunately are not as popular as they used to be, as people are aware that the damage done in a salon is just as bad as if you were in the sun. Pills are also available online to try and achieve the elusive tan, but these pills can be highly dangerous and often we do not know what they contain, so they must be avoided. Once any part of our skin becomes red it is damaged!

The bottom line is, a fake tan is the only safe tan. Fake tans have come a very long way since they rubbed off on our clothes and bed sheets; they also generally had an awful smell to them. Now we have so many great products on the market, it can be hard to choose which one to use. Here are some tips to enjoy sporting a great pale, medium or dark tan, at any time of the year.


This is the most important step for any successful tanning regime. If you do not carry out a thorough exfoliation of the area you wish to tan, you will likely find whatever product you use will cake into any dry skin areas. Pay special attention to the elbows, heels, fingers and toes. Often you will achieve a more even and better looking tan if you moisturise your skin after exfoliating, then add your chosen product once the moisturiser has soaked in.

Tan Accelerator

These products, which you generally start to apply a few weeks before you go away or are going to be exposed to the sun, do help to promote a good tan. Gatineau and Elemis have accelerators that many customers swear by and agree it helps them achieve their ultimate tan. It is important to understand these accelerator products do not protect the skin in any way from the harmful rays of the sun. I often stress you must look for a sun protection product that contains the maximum UVA protection, as well as the UVB which most people look for. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin and do the most damage.

Ultrasun, made in Switzerland, is a wonderful range often used by our police and fire forces, as their great range of products generally only need one application and last all day, even when you swim. Not many ranges offer this guarantee. Ultrasun has a product to suit every requirement and is cost effective as you only need one application prior to going in the sun. Of course, follow the directions on the bottle. Lips are often an overlooked part of the body when it comes to sun damage, but Ultrasun’s lip protection has a great moisturising effect; I use it all year round. You will still tan using these products, but it will be the safest tan you can get if you do not want to fake it!

Fake Tans

I suggest a small patch test (where it does not show) before you slather fake tan all over and might not like the colour. For areas such as in-between the fingers and toes, which often show streak marks and are tricky to apply, go over with a wipe or cotton bud to remove any excess. Your hands are a dead give away, especially if the palms have not been well cleaned after application.

If you want a gentle gradual glow on your face, Elemis has a Total Glow Bronzing Moisturiser which is very gentle and you can build on until you have the right glow for you. For the body, James Read is known to be a favourite on the celebrity circuit for his tanning products. Coconut Water Tan Mist is his latest; it contains antioxidants and amino acids to protect and hydrate the skin, whilst you develop a gradual glow.

St. Tropez is a well established favourite and they have several products to choose from. St Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse is a light weight mousse that is clear and absorbs quickly, making it fast drying.

It’s up to you which products you use and your attitude towards tanning naturally or from a bottle. However, the best advice and recommendation I can offer is to fake it and be safe in the sun.

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