Subtle Self Tanning: Spring Series #2

Spring Tanning

Another reason for the tanning and defuzzing in my Spring Mini Series #1 was making way for a perfect application of self tan. I don’t know about you, but I feel a heck of a lot better with a little bit of colour on my pasty limbs - and my first seasonal application of self tan gives me a real confidence boost. 

There are Rules when it comes to Spring tanning. We’re not talking a two week tropical holiday tan; we’re talking an is-she-or-isn’t-she golden whisper and a subtle healthy glow - yup I know tanning isn’t healthy, but a bit of colour makes me look and feel more healthy - fact. I’ve tried and tested many formulas and focused only on my top picks.

MOISTURISING: As far as moisturising goes, stick with your usual the night before tanning. Do this after exfoliating, but avoid freshly waxed or shaved limbs to reduce the risk of stinging or irritation. My current go-to for this is Origins Gloomaway Body Soufflé, which is super moisturising, sinks in quickly and lifts my spirits with its zingy grapefruit scent.

Immediately prior to tanning I either avoid body moisturiser completely or stick to a simple formula like Aveeno Cream - currently 1/3 off the lotion at Superdrug - I always have a bottle of this handy as it’s the best thing I’ve found to keep my little boy’s eczema at bay. I only use this on extra dry areas - feet, ankles, knees, elbows and hands.

BODY: I like my upper body to be lighter in colour than my legs, to avoid a dramatic difference between my face and body and have been enjoying a recent discovery by a tanning brand called Unreal, which specialises in pale skins. Unreal offers personalised tanning, in that you choose exactly how much DHA (tanning ingredient) is in the product, from 6% (very light) to 12%. I think this is a genius idea and chose 8% for a subtle colour, which is perfect for me. Overall, this is one of the best self tanning formulas I’ve tried - it’s so easy to use and gives an incredibly natural colour that won’t irritate sensitive skin. NB the Unreal tanning mitt is perfection - velvety smooth and doesn’t absorb too much product.

LEGS: On my legs I opted for St Tropez Self Tan Sensitive Bronzing Mousse. Mousse is my favourite tanning formula as I find it the smoothest and easiest to apply - and this was no exception. Again this gives me a lovely light golden glow, just a touch deeper than the Unreal, which is exactly what I was looking for. You can see pictures of me with both of these products applied here; despite the flash photography, you can see that I’m definitely not over-tanned.

WEAR: These two products wear well on me with no patchiness and are perfect for this time of year. I’ve tried both with two coats, which does give extra depth of colour, so they’ll carry me through until Summer when I reach for deeper formulas. If you’re a fan of gradual tan, there are lots of great options out there for all budgets, but Xen-Tan Transform is the one I keep coming back to for its perfect golden hue.

What’s your favourite self tan?

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