With summer just around the corner, layers are coming off and the fair skin of cold months' past is glaring through... So, get the mitts out, it's tanning season. We know, of course, that this does not mean baking ourselves for hours like our foremothers, it means we're stocking up on fake tan. Taking the faux glow route is no longer a dirty word (or, beauty product) that we are ashamed to own up to - in fact, we hail those taking great care of their skin and health. Over the years, we've seen big changes in formulations that have made orange streaked limbs a distant memory. But, there's always room for improvement, and we're excited by the innovations in tanning products that ensure we look like we've spent a summer in Antigua. Here are our favourite top six...
Baby Got Back
We’re no newbies to the DIY faux tan, and have accumulated quite the laundry list of little tips and tricks to avoid the orange streaked nightmares of our teen years. From tinted mousses to blending gloves, it’s an almost flawless system. Almost. Until now, there has been one area that burdens us all: the back. Today though, spouses, housemates and pulled muscles, retreat from duties because the back tanner is here and we could cry with happy. No longer having to twist and contort yourself into those strenuous positions to get that all over self tan coverage. Not only does this give even coverage but also helps for the other hard to reach areas, like the backs of legs.
Any product that combines one of our favourite beauty pastimes, tanning, with eliminating our least favourite beauty problem, cellulite, has our undivided attention. Skinny Tan not only gives you a rich and deep colour, it also contains cellulite smoothing ingredient Guarana – derived from the seeds of a tree in South Africa and has one of the highest levels of caffeine as any other plant or bean, including coffee beans. And caffeine, as we know, is a highly effective ingredient to fight the look of cellulite. To say it’s a hard working product is an understatement. It’s also a streak free formula, so no telltale stripes to give away that your glow is faux.
Finally, a natural no-elbow-grease-required fake tan remover that actually works. It contains no harmful ingredients, including exfoliating beads (that can be too abrasive on the skin, especially for the sensitive among us). So, how does it work then? Glad you asked… The formula includes botanical extracts that work with naturally occurring amino acids on the skin so the tan dissolves, as opposed to being scraped away. This nifty kit comes with a spray that’s a natural mix of powder and liquid, that you spritz on and wipe it away, along with residual tan. It’s actually that easy. Then, you apply the super hydrating spray to replenish your skin, leaving it feeling soft and silky. Perfect for those quick fixes with your own fake tan application or those horrible bra lines that we get from our weekend spray. The result is even and flawless.
glow from the inside
Imedeen Tan Optimizer Tablets
These little orange tablets are full of Vitamins C and E to help prepare the skin for UV exposure, protecting cells from oxidative stress (an imbalance how the oxygen we breathe is metabolised) that can be responsible for skin cancers. However, it is not a replacement for SPF… You still need to slip, slop, slap. The pills just give sallow, pasty skin the chance to have a natural glow, even if it has had no direct sunlight. After 30 days of taking the tablets, we can report that our skin started to develop a warmness, a (dare we say again) glow. There’s just no other word for it. They are a little on the exxy side (about $70 for 60 tablets), but if it means we can pick up some natural colour with less time in the sun, while still layering up with 30+, it feels worth it. However, our experience is purely anecdotal and they are ingested, so please consult your GP before taking them.
Crème de la crème
This caramel coloured cream goes on smoothly, has a luxurious silky consistency and smells amazing with its included essential oils. Being tinted, it is perfect for those of us who try and rush this process as you can see the patches that we’ve have missed. It also means an instant healthier look. But what’s really cool about this product is that the naturally-derived sweet orange flavonoids that works with the natural production of melanin in our skin, creating an almost bespoke shade for your skin tone. It also has safflower seed oil that gives your skin an extra boost of moisture to help avoid that dry feeling you can get when you fake tan. Tip: add a bit of the tanner to facial moisturiser to give your face a bit of colour without going OTT.
We are blessed with access to many a beautiful bronzer, and we’ve got our favourites we rarely waiver from. But, Hourglass has honed our honeyed-skin dreams to its golden, shimmery shade. It is hand-blended and, although a fine compact powder, is almost silky and when it’s applied resembles a crème bronzer that sinks into the skin (rather than the appearance of slick sitting on top of the skin). The idea is to layer it in the areas that would naturally see sun (the T-section of the face and the décolletage), building up to your desired depth of bronze.
Story by Canna Campbell