Streak-free solutions SVELTE TAN­NING

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - BODY & SOUL -

ALOT of self tans fea­ture on this page through­out the year be­cause we’re big tan fans in Ire­land. In a re­cent trawl through read­ers’ emails, I re­alised there is still some con­fu­sion over what tan to use to get skin look­ing sun kissed with­out streaks. Colour is only one is­sue, but re­mem­ber that for paler skin tones lighter shades work best and should cause lit­tle or no streak­ing. Deeper shades look great on darker hair and skin. This ra­tio­nale ex­cludes blon­des by the very fact that their hair is most likely dyed, so their best choice of tan can be light, medium or dark, de­pend­ing on skin tone.

A main cause of streak­ing is dry skin. The skin colourant DHA, found in all self-tans whether syn­thetic or de­rived from plant extracts, re­acts with amino acids in the dead skin layer on the skin’s sur­face.

This re­ac­tion hap­pens over the course of a few hours, but where there are patches of ex­cess dead skin cells this will cause ex­tra skin dark­en­ing and an un­even tan. The most com­mon ar­eas are the knees, el­bows and an­kles.

How to avoid a tan dis­as­ter? Well, ex­fo­li­a­tion helps – get­ting tough with those rough patches and smooth­ing the skin for a more even tan. Your tan’s for­mu­la­tion will also help, so here’s how to choose the right va­ri­ety.

Con­sider your skin, is it smooth and sup­ple, mois­turised cor­rectly? Great if it is, choose any for­mula you like in a shade that suits. If it isn’t in the best con­di­tion, per­haps choose a lo­tion as it will have a level of mois­turiser that prob­a­bly ex­ceeds any other for­mula. From light­weight mists and wa­ter-like liq­uids through to mousse and lo­tion, the heav­ier for­mula gen­er­ally means more mois­ture. This has an im­pact on streak­ing be­cause a lo­tion can be moved around the skin eas­ier and for longer, drench­ing the skin with both colour and mois­ture.

If, even af­ter your best ef­forts, you still end up with streak­ing, use an ex­fo­lia­tor to try and scrub away the mis­takes. Al­ter­na­tively you can add a lit­tle more tan if you have gaps in places. Sum­mer’s not over yet (hope­fully) so re­mem­ber, a fake tan is a safe tan but it isn’t sun­screen, so don’t for­get to ap­ply the SPF needed to pro­tect your skin. Keep your tan­ning ses­sions to night time to avoid sun­screen in­ter­fer­ing with the tan devel­op­ment.

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