• Tanning Questions Answered
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Your Tanning Questions Answered

Gone are the days of orange, streaky tan; self tanning has become preferable for many to the real thing. Achieve a bronzed glow, without any damage to skin, and without having to sit in the sun for hours.

Self-tanning doesn't have to be the minefield some of us think it is. Whether you're new to self tanning, or a long-time fan, Brown Thomas is here to answer your questions. Want to know what kind of tan to use? Or how to maintain an even, natural glow? Read on.

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Exfoliating before tanning

Why exfoliate before tanning?

Exfoliating before tanning is an essential step to a natural, even glow. Exfoliation will remove dead skin cells or dry, flaky skin that the tan would otherwise cling to. Exfoliation also ensures a longer lasting tan, that isn't going to fade in a matter of days as these skin cells naturally shed.

Pre-tanning exfoliation

How to exfoliate before tanning?

Pre-tanning exfoliation is best done in the shower. Opt for a body scrub with natural fibres rather than plastic micro-beads, such as Amanda Harrington's Advanced Glycolic Body Scrub. Rub all over your body, particularly focusing on anywhere with flaky skin, then wash away. An added benefit of using a scrub such as this is that it will simultaneously moisturise your skin, which is another important thing to consider.

Moisturising Before Tanning

Should I moisturise before applying fake tan?

Yes! But no less than 24 hours before you plan to apply your tan. Moisturising is as important as exfoliation, allowing for a smooth and even base when applying your tan. Make sure to use an oil-free moisturiser, and to do so after exfoliating. Moisturise and exfoliate 24 hours before applying tan for best results. Do not moisturise on the day of tanning.

Note: if you are shaving or plan on doing some other form of hair removal, make sure you also do this 24 hours before tan application.

Best Self Tan

What is the best self tan brand?

This one is easy. Whether you're looking for gradual tanning or oil drops from Tan Luxe, overnight buildable glows from James Read, or a second-skin look from Amanda Harrington, there are many incredible brands out there with a lot to offer.

Different Types Of Tan

What type of tan should I choose?

Best gradual tan: Isle of Paradise Happy Tan

- Gradual tan: these tans build up day by day, so if you're new to tanning or anxious about how dark or light you want your tan to go, this would be a good choice.

Best instant tan: Tanologist Insta Glow Bronzer

- Instant tan: perfect when you're short on time, or looking for a bronzed glow for a particular occasion or moment, instant tan is ideal.

Best overnight tan: James Read Overnight Tan Mask For Body

- Overnight tan: generally applied in a mousse or lotion, overnight tan should be applied in the evening and will develop in 8-10 hours overnight. You'll wake up glowing, ready to wash off and conquer the day.

Best mousse: Amanda Harrington Bronzing Mousse

- Tanning mousse: can be buffed into skin for a flawless finish, suitable for most skin types.

Best lotion: Clarins Self Tanning Milky Lotion

- Tanning lotion: perfect for dry skin, tanning lotion will moisturise and hydrate while being applied.

Best tanning water/mist: Amanda Harrington Bronzing Mist

- Tanning water: generally tanning mists are best used for areas such as the face, which require a more subtle approach.

Best tanning oil/drops: Tan Luxe The Body Tan Drops

- Tanning Drops: allowing for buildable colour and tailor-made results, tanning drops can be added to your moisturiser, serum or oil of choice and applied evenly over the body.

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Applying Fake Tan

How to apply fake tan?

Using a mitt, dispense your tan of choice onto the tanning glove and buff into your skin evenly. Be careful when applying tan to places like elbows, knees, hands and feet. If you're worried about your tan sticking to these places, you can apply a little moisturiser to these spots before tan application.

After application, leave your tan to dry before re-dressing. Shower off after the specified amount of time has passed.

Tanning Your Face

How to apply fake tan to face?

When self tanning, you might want to adapt your approach when you get to tanning your face. You can mix some tan with moisturiser, or opt for a tanning water for a more subtle approach.

Buff into face well with either a dedicated kabuki brush, such as The Face Lifter by Amanda Harrington, or a damp Beauty Blender, to ensure fully even coverage.

Top Tips When Tanning

What are the top tips to remember when applying self tan?

Exfoliate and moisturise 24 hours before applying tan. Apply moisturiser to dry areas where tan may cling to to prevent this from happening. Apply tan in a well-lit room, preferably with natural light in early evening, so you can see that you are applying evenly all over.

Prolonging Your Tan

How to make your fake tan last longer?

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! Make sure you hydrate your skin morning and night with an oil-free, fragrance-free moisturiser to keep skin plump and hydrated. To prolong your tan, reapply a gradual tan every few days to maintain an even and sun kissed glow.

Removing Fake Tan

How to remove fake tan?

For minor accidents, a gentle acid exfoliant such as the Isle Of Paradise Over It Magic Self-Tan Eraser, or Tan Luxe Glyco-Water will lift the outer layer of your tan. For more stubborn tan, that's harder to get off, it's recommended you draw a nice warm, oil-infused bath and soak for at least thirty minutes, exfoliating skin gently with a sponge.

Happy Tanning!