Fake bake: How to self tan without streaks

Self tan may once have conjured up images of streaky, tango-toned legs and Dorito-dust coloured fingers, today’s self tanners have a much more refined formula. Gone are the days of unpredictable, biscuity scented lotions, though the original ingredient hasn’t changed. Applying your own fake bake is a safer option than tanning in the sunshine, as a tan is an indication that the sun has already damaged the skin. All self tanners are based on dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which temporarily stains the skin by reacting with melanin. Follow these tips to get the most out of your chosen fake tan.

1) You scrub up well

To achieve the best results, we must prepare our skin. Exfoliate all skin that you are treating with an exfoliator, shower scrunchie or loofah; this prevents dead skin cells from causing patchiness.

2) Softly softly

Moisturise well, ensuring a complete coverage to avoid streaking.

3) The bronze age

Starting with the feet, work your way up your legs with self tan. Tinted products can be easier as you can see where you have applied the lotion. Spray tans can be helpful for harder to reach places, such as the middle back. Use a mit to avoid tangerine-tinted hands, and ensure you wash hands well after application. To self-tan the hands, rub a small dab between the backs of your hands.

4) Lighten up

For a more natural look or paler all-over look, add a squirt of self-tan to a little moisturiser and mix together in the palm of your hand. Don’t go over-board, it’s much easier to top up the self-tan to darken the shade than it is to scrub it off.

5) Tinted love

Tinted moisturisers or BB creams are a great way to fake a golden glow without having to apply fake tan to your face. These should also offer SPF protection to prevent damage from ageing UV rays. Set the look with a fine face powder or bronzer for a radiant glow.

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