All you need to know about fake tan
We know the feeling. The summer months roll around and while you’d love to find the time to jet off to a white sandy beach and hear the gentle lap of cool water on the sand, you’re not sure you’ll be able to make it further than a couple of hours to your local coastal town this year. Time and funds are tight and you examine your pasty skin in despair. You know you look and feel so much better when your skin is sporting a healthy, sun-kissed glow. With a big summer barbecue on the horizon, you know you’ll be turning to a faithful old friend - the fake tan. But why do we love a self-tan so much? And what does your skin need in order to handle it?
Why do we crave tanned skin?
Whenever you emerge from a successful tanning session, you will roll in comments from other people along the lines of ‘wow, you look so well!’ and ‘your skin is glowing!’. There are numerous bodies of psychological research that suggest that tanned skin is more attractive and healthier than paler skin tones in Western society. Tan boosts contrast in the colours of your body, such as your eyes and hair, making them stand out more. We know that darker tones make us look slimmer and this works for tan too. It also emphasises muscle definition, which is why bodybuilders use fake tan in their performances.
Tanned skin as a symbol of beauty, health and social status has an interesting history. Centuries ago, pale skin was considered the most desirable as it was seen as a sign that you didn’t have to work outside, which is what farmers and peasants did. However, now, tanned skin is seen as an indication that you have money and good health. It suggests that you can afford to travel to warm places and that you’re active enough to spend time outside. As more of us are realising the dangers of sunbeds and tanning injections, the fake tan industry has seen a boom in popularity in recent years.
How to get the best fake tan in 4 simple step
While you may want to get your skin glowing as soon as possible, it is important to prep it before applying self-tan. Fake tan won’t sit evenly or neatly on dry skin, which will no doubt result in a far from perfect finish. This is why it’s worth putting the time into prepping your skin thoroughly and effectively so that it can handle fake tan.
- Exfoliate. Dry skin is the most common culprit behind a patchy fake tan job. Ensure your skin is silky smooth before applying your fake tan. Rub our Exfoliate body bar all over your body to slough off dead skin cells and unclog your pores in preparation for a fake tan.
- Moisturise. It’s essential after exfoliation anyway but it’s especially important that your skin is hydrated before adding a layer of fake tan to it. As well as moisturising immediately after exfoliating, use our Hydrate body bar on your skin at least 24 hours prior to self-tanning to ensure your skin is full of moisture.
- Cleanse. Just before you apply your fake tan, make sure you cleanse your skin. This will allow the fake tan to go on evenly. Our Clarifying body bar targets blemishes and is very gentle on the skin, which is perfect for simple, effective cleansing.
- Moisturise areas that are prone to dryness again. Ever wondered how to get fake tan off your hands? Moisturise them again before tanning! Your hands, elbows and knees are likely to dry out, so they may need extra attention when moisturising. You should also moisturise your whole body after self-tanning too.
While using fake tan is much better for your skin and your overall health than sunbathing or using sunbeds, it’s important to know that fake tan still reacts with your skin cells, which is actually what causes the distinctive smell. Self-tan contains an active ingredient called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). It’s this chemical compound that interacts with the amino acids in the top layer of the skin cells and oxygen in the air, producing pigments called melanoidins which stain the skin and allow a tan to build. The tan can continue building for up to 72 hours after application. The higher the DHA content in a product, the darker your skin will get.
How to get fake tan off
Fake tan products only affect the top layer of your skin, so the tan will naturally go away as your skin cells die and you exfoliate them away. However, if you simply let nature take its course, you’ll end up with a very patchy tan. So, you probably will want to remove it all at once. We have some handy (and unique!) hints for you to try in order to get fake tan off fast:
- Apply oil. Before a thorough exfoliation, put a generous layer oil on your skin for about 30 minutes. Coconut, olive or baby oil all work equally well. It might feel like a bit messy but it’s very effective for loosening the skin cells that might be holding on to fake tan.
- Hit the steam room. The humidity of a steam room will lift fake tan stains, which will make it easier to remove. When you come out of the steam room, gently rub your skin with a wet towel before exfoliating.
- Exfoliate. Thorough exfoliation of the whole body should get rid of fake tan by removing the stained skin cells on the top layer of the epidermis. Our Exfoliate body bar is an excellent, gentle exfoliator all on its own -just lather up and go!
- Toothpaste. This is an excellent hack for getting fake tan off your hands or between your fingers or toes. Scrub the area with whitening toothpaste on an old toothbrush (not one in current use!) and leave for around 15-30 minutes depending on how bad the staining is.
- Baking soda. If you need to get fake tan off fast, mixing a couple of tablespoons of baking soda with water or coconut oil to form a paste works a treat. Simply apply it to the area you want to remove tan from, leave for a few minutes and rinse away.
If you’d rather not go down the DIY route to get rid of fake tan, there are fake tan removers on the market too. From mousses to mitts, wipes to soaps, make sure that you pick a product or tool that is kind to your skin. Don’t forget to moisturise afterwards!
Get your best self-tan with Beauty Kin
Successful self-tanning is dependent on ensuring that your skin is in prime condition to take and hold a smooth, even fake tan. Therefore, your skin needs to be expertly exfoliated and sufficiently hydrated.
Our Exfoliate body bar uses active ingredients such as lactic acid, rose geranium oil and tomato seed oil to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and unclog the pores of debris and excess oil. It’s an absolute must for avoiding fake tan from looking patchy or flaky.
Our Hydrate body bar uses jojoba oil, tomato seed oil and squalane to produce a gentle, creamy lather that nourishes dry skin. It’s excellent for providing a soft, supple base for fake tan to glide smoothly onto your skin.
Using both of these bars before applying fake tan will effectively prep your skin for a professional-looking, healthy glow that will have you looking and feeling fantastic this summer.
There are a huge variety of highly effective fake tan products out there, which means that you no longer need to jump on a plane to give your skin that gorgeous, just-back-from-holiday shine. Preparing your skin for self-tanning can sometimes get forgotten about but it is vital to achieving a convincing, even look. Now, grab an ice-cold drink, get out there and bask in the warm glow of looking and feeling good in your own skin!