Image via Snazzy Biz
This isn't just a Do and Don't list - I think it helps to explain the how’s and whys to emphasise why these tips are so important. This is may end up reading like 'War and Peace' - but believe me - it's so worth it!
You should ALWAYS be asked to complete a 'Consultation Form' the first time you have a Spray Tan in a salon and be given thorough 'After Care Advice'. Sadly not all therapists do - a major bug bear with me; hence why I write articles like this. Read my article Beauty Consultations - a Must!
Image via http://www.hair-by-louise.co.uk
Preparing Your Skin For Spray or Self Tanning
Any Hair Removal MUST be Done at Least 24 hours in Advance of Your Tanning Treatment
This gives the pores time to close and the skin to calm down after any irritation. Nobody wants a spotty tan! If you use hair removal cream - ensure the waxy residue is completely washed away - as this can prevent your tan from developing.
Exfoliate the Night Before Your Tan
This will remove as many dead skin cells as possible leaving newer fresher ones allowing your tan to fade evenly.
OOO lovely! Why not treat yourself to a pre tan exfoliating treatment.
Image via Gayshott Spa Life
AVOID Dove or Imperial Leather Shower Gels and Moisturisers
These products are well known in the industry to strip and tan and even stop it taking if used before hand. So avoid using them on the day or your tan and whilst your is tan on.
No Body Lotion, Oil or Deodorant on the Day of Your Tan
Body lotion may act as a barrier and prevent the tan from taking. Deodorant tends to react with tan and can turn your under arms green – no one wants to look like the Hulk! Using a salt deodorant helps.
Great salt deodorant from Holland And Barrett
Take Loose Dark Clothing and Open Toed Shoes
Tight clothing and close fitting shoes can rub on your new tan and stop it developing as well.
Leave Your Posh Undies At Home
We would hate to be responsible for ruining your gorgeous La Perla thong and matching bra! The tan can stain light elastic – best take your basic comfort knickers - black preferably. I give every client a disposable thong, some regulars even have their own tanning pants!
Take A Brolly
It’s sods law it will rain! Streaks and polka dot tan – not a good look!
Oh dear! Image via Brollies Galore
For Self Tan Use a Tanning Mitt
If you are using a self tan you get the best results using a tan applicator mitt – don’t rub, use upward sweeping motions.
These inexpensive beauties mean don’t get any product on your palms, make your tan super quick and easy to apply, streak free and you can even do your own back! I love them. Just wash them out the next day with a little shower gel and leave to dry.
Great applicator mitt. Image via Boots
Looking After Your Tan
I always say to my clients "Don't panic if you think you are going too dark; remember your tan is underneath the 'guide colour', you will see your true tan when you wash it off the next day."
Avoid Getting Wet on the Day of Your Tan
I recommend my clients use baby wipes on their palms when they have been to the loo. If you get wet, you risk removing the tan before it’s fully developed or streaks if it runs down your arm! The same goes for avoiding anything that may make you perspire. So no to exercise and no cleaning – lovely jubbly!
Leave Your Tan on Overnight
Even though my tanning company Nouvatan says leave for 6-8 hours, I find a tan always develops better when I sleep with it; I don’t know why - maybe the tan fairy visits you!
Wear PJs in Bed That Evening
The Nouvatan tanning products I use hardly leaves a mark on your sheets and what does, washes out so you don’t need to bother. However other companies may not be the same. I’ve heard tan doesn’t come out of satin and silk bedding.
Use a Mild Shower Gel Daily
Anything harsh may strip your tan prematurely. Again AVOID Dove and Imperial Leather shower gels. Something like E45, Aveeno or Simple works well.
Daily Body Lotion – A MUST
Please do not under estimate the effectiveness of this! Body lotion will keep your skin hydrated helping your tan last longer and fade evenly. Body butters are the best as they are very nourishing but whatever you use must be oil free as oily products will strip your tan. If like myself, your skin is dry use it twice a day. Again AVOID Dove and Imperial Leather body lotions.
So what Body Lotion do my Customers and I use?...
Nouvatan's After Tan “Oil Free”Toning Moisturiser
Not only will it help to prolong your spray or self tan but it will also help banish those dimples and restore a more toned appearance with our new wonderful, multi-tasking product - OH MY know how much I love a multi tasking product! With Aloe Vera to soothe, Co-enzyme Q10 and Juniper Berry to tighten and tone, Horse Chestnut to improve sluggish circulation, Grapefruit extract and Butchers Broom to help guard against fluid retention and swelling.
What a tub full of fabulousness Available from Rituals Beauty for £11.95 (200ml tub) - it just flies off the shelves!
Image via Nouvatan
You WILL rub your tan off. Unless you need to remove a bit that has clung – if so use a tiny bit of exfoliating cream on the area or even better use some Dove – hee hee!
Not a good look!
Image via Cakes And Shakes
NO Hair Removal
As your tan lies on the outer layers of the skin, you will remove the tan and leave it looking patchy. This goes for all types of hair removal – waxing, shaving, epilating, creams etc. Waxing is your best option before hand as you get the longest results.
ALWAYS Shower Off After Swimming
The chemicals in the pool and salt water can eat into the tan. Believe me – I always stress this to people; but I got... shall we say a little ‘merry’ towards the end of my hols recently and went for a very late night swim – my still perfect tan was no more – it looked like snake skin!!
Top Up With A Gradual Tan
I like to top my spray tan up with a gradual tan as the bottom of my legs hardly tan at all. I suffer from very dry skin on my lower legs. INTERESTING FACT - our natural oils attract UV rays; this is why I like many people find it hard to tan my dry legs! Another great reason to keep your skin well moisturised.
I love Nouvatan’s Nouvaglow Gradual Tan or Vanity Tan’s Bronzing Custard
Image via Nouvatan
And there you go! I really hope this helps you to achieve a happier, prettier, longer lasting tan. Sorry it's so long but it really is worth it!
To see how spray and self tans work and what I use in the salon, read my article Spray Tans and SelfTans - The Safer Option.