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A fake tan is a safe tan

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

Author: Val Starr, Posted: Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 09:00

After such a lengthy lockdown, most of us are relishing the summer weather and spending much more time outdoors. Holidays are more likely to be spent in the UK owing to travel restrictions, so fingers crossed it will be a good summer.

In the UK, people often think that even on a hot day, the sun is weaker than when we are basking somewhere abroad. This is a big mistake!
From approximately April through to September, the sun in the UK is just as damaging to our skin. I always recall my dermatologist saying “as long as there is sunshine I will always be busy”. Now that’s something to think about.

Preparation is an essential step before applying any fake tan products; it’s key for a successful look. Thoroughly exfoliate all the areas to which you will be applying your products – particularly elbows, knees, hands and feet to avoid where you might have a skin build up. Products tend to accumulate in those areas.

A mitt or a glove can help you to avoid any staining on the hands, but make sure you wash them thoroughly after any application just in case, especially between the fingers.

Tan accelerators
Tan accelerators are often applied daily, several weeks before sun exposure to help with obtaining a better and longer lasting tan. It is important to note they do not contain an SPF (sun protection factor) so you still need to apply sun protection. Elemis, Ultrasun and Gatineau all offer tan accelerators.

Fake tan
The demand for good quality fake tanning products we can use at home has increased enormously. The days of the ghastly orange streaky shades that rub off on our clothes and bedding is thankfully a thing of the past, as well as the horrible smell that came with it.

Gatineau Golden Glow Gradual Tan is applied to dry skin and will give you a natural looking, sun-kissed glow. When you are satisfied with the result you can just top up when required. Elemis has a similar product.

Tan Luxe is the new kid on the block, stealing a lot of thunder with its extensive range. This includes drops you can add to your regular face or body creams, creating a custom-made tan – the more drops, the deeper the colour. I like it as the content is super hydrating, unlike some which dry out the skin.

A less well-known brand that launched a fake tan last year is Lucy Bee. Their products are vegan, cruelty-free and palm-oil free, adhering to their ethos of ethical beauty. The tan has a tropical fragrance and is enriched with essential nutrients to hydrate and nourish your skin.

Sun protection
No matter which fake tanning product you choose, they won’t offer the sun protection you need to be safe. You must still apply SPF generously, especially to areas often overlooked like eyes, tips of the nose and ears, bald spots and lips – basically wherever skin is exposed.

My favourite brand is Ultrasun. The entire range has an SPF to suit every age group, is a once a day application which is rare, and comes in sprays, liquids and creams to suit your preference. Their UVA SPF has a high factor, which works hard to protect you against the most damaging UVA rays.

Ultrasun Face SPF 50+ is a winner in my book. It might cost a little more than your standard protection, but you only need it once a day and it also acts like a moisturiser. Allow 15 minutes for your skin to fully absorb (this goes for all SPF applications). You will still get a tan, but a safe one.

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