The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - CONTENTS - LAURA BER­MING­HAM

A tac­ti­cal ap­proach to tan­ning

I s the per­fect tan a pipe dream or can we fake beau­ti­ful, bronzed skin from a tube or bot­tle? With the right prepa­ra­tion, a re­ally great tan is pos­si­ble, no mat­ter what tan you use.

Bear in mind that the smoother the skin, the smoother the tan ap­pli­ca­tion, so ex­fo­li­a­tion and/or shav­ing must take place be­fore tan­ning.

Sen­si­tive-skin ladies, make sure to leave time be­tween these steps to avoid ir­ri­ta­tion — a day ideally, if needs be. Ex­fo­li­ate with what you have to hand, whether it’s a scrub, loofah, ny­lon mitts or tex­tured sponge. Don’t scrub the skin too hard, but do pay ex­tra at­ten­tion to harder skin on the knees, el­bows and an­kles which will be­come darker with tan and look stained. If your skin is dry, mois­turise with lo­tion, and then tan a few hours later, or use a tan-in-lo­tion for­mula that con­tains mois­turiser.

What tan you use is your choice but re­mem­ber that the more light­weight the liq­uid the faster it will ab­sorb, but it will con­tain less mois­turiser. So while this is ideal for those with oilier/spot prone skin, if your skin is dry choose heav­ier lotions or cream tans.

It’s a bit of a myth that a grad­ual tan will give less streak­ing. Grad­u­als just con­tain less dy­ing agent DHA so the streaks aren’t so no­tice­able.

Some women like to have a gen­tle colour, but if you are look­ing for a de­cent fake tan use the reg­u­lar ver­sion. Ap­ply­ing lay­ers of a grad­ual in­creases the chances of ob­vi­ous streaks.

Al­ways use a mitt to ap­ply tan, it keeps prod­uct from the palms and smooths the tan across the skin more evenly.

Al­low the tan to dry be­fore get­ting dressed. Granted, that’s not al­ways easy on a chilly day, but white feet at the bot­tom of brown legs comes from pop­ping on socks too quickly.

The aver­age de­vel­op­ment time for tan is four hours. Some claim an hour or two, but that four mark is a safe bet. Then, should you want to re­peat the tan­ning process and get an even deeper tan, you can ap­ply more prod­uct. Wait be­tween 4-8 hours af­ter first ap­pli­ca­tion, shower and ap­ply the next layer of tan. The shower is im­por­tant, it re­moves any guide colour or residue from the first layer, clear­ing the way for ab­sorp­tion of layer two. Again, if you want to ap­ply an­other layer and get the max­i­mum tan, wait for the de­vel­op­ment time, shower and re­peat. Mois­turise daily to main­tain colour and en­sure an even fade.

GUESS HOMME NIGHT AR­MANI CODE ICE €57/50mls, counters na­tion­wide.

€45.50, L’Oc­c­i­tane stores na­tion­wide

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