Skin care pros spill the truth about fake tan
Fake tan: it’s a massive part of many of our skincare regimes. A summer glow is the perfect finishing touch to so many outfits, and because there are so many great products on the market it’s easier than ever to get the depth of colour that’s just right for you. But how clued up are you when it comes to how fake tan works, and the best ways to use it?
We’ve picked out our top five need-to-know facts on fake tan, so you can know your stuff when it comes to bronzing…
1: Fake tan trumps the real thing
You might have heard the chat about DHA – that’s dihydroxyacetone, the stuff in fake tan that darkens your skin by reacting with amino acids in dead skin cells. It’s also the stuff that gives your fake bake that biscuity smell. It might sound a bit intense, but any issues with DHAs are purely speculative and there’s no real cause for concern. Plus, real sun-tanning works by exposing you to UV radiation that damages your skin and increases your risk of skin cancer. So, when it comes to tanning, it’s all about embracing the fake stuff.
2: Hold your breath…
As long as you follow the instructions on your product, there’s no need to stress. That said, we recommend applying your fake tan in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling it – pop a window open and try not to sit in a small, enclosed bathroom while you’re waiting for it to dry.
3: It’s easy to burn wearing fake tan
You might be looking bronzed and feeling fab, but don’t forget: you still need to slather on the SPF before you sunbathe. While some tanners claim to contain a level of sunscreen, this can be misleading as any SPF within the fake tan will wear off after a couple of hours. Always top up with broad-spectrum factor 30, as a minimum, to make sure you’re protected against sun damage. Because burned, peeling skin is never cute.
4: Don’t skip the patch test
If you’re planning a fake-tanning sesh – especially ahead of a big event – it’s always best to do a patch test, even if you’re going with a product you’ve used before. Skin types and allergies can change and develop over time, so something that might have once suited you might cause a reaction. To check your tanner is all good for you to use, just pop a dot of it behind your ear and leave for 24 hours.
5: Ditch the oil when you’re tanning
It’s well known that moisturising your fake tan is essential, if you want to keep your tan for longer. But it’s worth checking to see if your moisturiser is oil-free. Oils break down DHA, the ingredient in your tanner that causes you to bronze.