Achieving a radiant, glowing tan without submitting yourself to harmful amounts of UV rays from the sun can be very tricky. We’ve all seen someone who’s got it wrong, whether their tan is too dark, patchy or orange, and none of us wants to be that person. To ensure you’re not left scrubbing your skin off after a self-tan gone wrong, it’s essential to choose the right products. Not only does this mean selecting quality, tried-and-tested self-tanning lotions and tan-enhancing oils, but it also means choosing the right formula for your skin tone. Whether your complexion is fair, medium or dark will affect which product is best for you, so it’s an essential element to consider when preparing to self-tan.
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Best Self Tanners for Fair Skin
Fair skin is undoubtedly the trickiest skin tone to self-tan. With a large contrast between your natural complexion and desired tone, an unnatural appearance can occur with the wrong product. Likewise, the difference in between your skin and the tan means that any mistakes will be visible. To avoid streaks and patches, be diligent about applying your tan consistently and use an applicator mitt. Also, don’t be afraid of using too much product. While the right sunless tanner will never end up looking too dark no matter how much you apply, it can wind up looking streaky with not enough.
Jumping straight from fair skin to a full, bronze tan can be risky. Instead, you’re probably better off breaking yourself into self-tanning by starting with a gradual tanner. Doing so will allow you to build-up your glow and get used to it before plunging into darker territories. Once you’re ready to take that plunge, try to choose a self-tanner that is reasonably light. Anything too dark will appear unnatural and fake, so it’s best to err on the side of caution. Likewise, steering clear of any orange-based formulas is always a good idea. Look out for light gold and light bronze options to achieve a tan that’s just right for your skin tone.
Fair Skin Tanning Lotions
Fair Skin Tanning Oils
Best Self Tanners for Medium Skin
Unlike ladies with fair skin, ladies with a medium complexion will find that their skin tone is somewhat forgiving when it comes to mistakes. With less contrast between your natural complexion and the self-tanner, flaws will be less visible and easier to hide. To ensure your tan looks natural, however, you must patch test it first. Simply apply a small amount to an area of skin you normally keep covered and allow it to set. In a couple of hours, once the product has developed, check the patch to see if the colour looks natural or not. Ideally, your tan should be a similar hue to your natural complexion but several shades darker. As medium skin tones already have a warmth to them, you must opt for darker self-tanners to achieve a deeper glow.
While ladies with medium skin tones needn’t worry too much about streaks and patches, they do need to take extra care in choosing the right colour of tanner. As your skin already has warm undertones, the wrong product can easily create an orange appearance. Avoid this mistake by choosing quality products without an orange base in medium and dark shades. Medium shades and classic formulas will enhance your natural glow, taking your natural tone one-to-two shades darker and creating a subtle bronze edge. Sunless tanners labelled “dark”, on the other hand, will give you a deep tan that looks like you’ve just spent a week on the beach.
Medium Skin Tanning Lotions
Medium Skin Tanning Oils
Best Self Tanners for Dark Skin
While ladies with dark skin don’t need to deepen their complexion all that much, they will still find self-tanners beneficial. Unlike women with fair skin who use self-tanner to make their skin appear darker in tone, women with naturally dark complexions should use the product for concealing uneven areas of colouring. So, if your complexion is looking a little unbalanced or irregular, a self-tanner could be the ideal solution. By using self-tanner to even out your tone and disguise imperfections, you’ll be able to create a radiant and gorgeous glow all over. While dark tanners will blend best with your skin tone, you can also consider a gradual self-tan to achieve the same radiance without the unnecessary addition of strong colour.
If you do wish to use a lotion or oil rather than a gradual tanner, look out for those labelled “dark” and those that are specifically formulated for dark skin tones when shopping. These products are your best bet for creating a natural looking deep complexion that’s both smooth and even. By also choosing a tanner that is of high quality, you’ll find that the product adjusts to your skin tone to create the most flattering and believable result. If your aim is simply to get a greater glow, however, be sure to choose a self-tanner with a golden finish. The warm and glittering addition will leave you with skin that’s completely luminous.
Dark Skin Tanning Lotions
Dark Skin Tanning Oils
Top Self-Tanning Tips
- To achieve a smooth and uniform tan be sure to exfoliate and wax or shave 24 hours before application.
- Patch test self-tanner before applying to make sure the colour suits your skin tone.
- As your elbows, knees, feet, and hands often develop darker than the rest of your body, apply moisturiser before self-tanning to create a barrier.
- Self-tanner can appear different in colour when blended with other products on your skin, so be mindful of what you apply to your body. Use moisturiser only where needed and mineral oil-free body washes and scrubs to ensure no residue is left behind.
- Select quality products that’ll soothe, hydrate and nourish your skin.
- When applying self-tanner, stand between two mirrors to have the best vision of what it is you’re doing.
- To make self-tanner last longer, be sure to keep skin suitably hydrated.
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