Arms and legs may be cosied up under layers of warm winter clothes this season, but it's no excuse to ditch your faux glow. Although there may not be so much skin showing, the parts that are still peeking through will look great with a touch of colour. Sarah Simpson takes us through some of the do's and dont's when it comes to the holy grail of tanning.
To get the best finish to your tan it's important to exfoliate your skin first. This is going to slough off any rough patches and essentially prep the skin to ensure a smoother, streak-free finish. Blair James of Bondi Sands is a firm believer in the importance of this step, saying, "An exfoliation mitt is the best way to exfoliate your skin before applying tan."
Prep your skin
The key to using moisturiser before you apply your tan is a secret weapon when it comes to nailing your most believable tan. "Only moisturise dry areas of skin such as elbows, knees and knuckles or any areas you do not want to tan. Applying a moisturiser prior to tanning will create a barrier between the skin and the tan which inhibits the tan from developing," states James. Another handy hint is to apply an ice cube along your hairline which reduces the pore size and helps to give off a natural-looking tan.
Build up the coverage
A less is more approach is the right one when it comes to a tan - start with a light coat of tan and then if you feel you want to go darker, repeat the whole process again. This technique is going to ensure you have covered off each area with the right amount of tan. Allow a few minutes of dry-time in between coats. Those with fair skin may choose to only have one coat of colour. Ditch the latex gloves which can stick to the skin and won't assist with a smooth application and instead opt for your bare hands or a tanning mitt.
Be lazy with your tan
A tan that's starting to fade and crack is never a good look so combat this by buffing it away when it get's to this point. Fading is a sign that the tan is ready to come off and a new application is needed. A warm bath with a touch of bath oil and a good soak will soften skin and make removing colour build-up with a mitt a piece of cake.
Skip the moisturiser
Always wondered the secret to a longer-lasting tan? Moisturiser! Keeping your skin hydrated is the key to keeping your tan. James has an even better idea, "You can always use a gradual tan which not only moisturises but also tops up your tan at the same time."
Use abrasive products to remove your tan
When tan goes bad, it's easy to panic and try and scrub off the botched up colour any way you can, but protect your skin by avoiding anything too abrasive. Mother Nature comes to the rescue with the humble lemon which works to help fade a tan. "Lemon juice will help to remove a tanning mishap. Team this with an exfoliation mitt and you will be able to shift the colour easily." To remove tan off your hands after applying reach for his shaving foam or toothpaste which works wonders.
Shiseido Brilliant Bronze Quick Self Tanning Gel, $49.50. Model Co Tan Airbrush in a Can, $36. Clarins Self Tanning Milk, $53. Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam, $25. St Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan, $40. Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk, $23.