Self Tan photo

fake it, don’t bake it

Let’s be honest, most of us feel healthier, more confident and more likely to bare flesh when our skin has a hint of golden rather than the lily white hue of winter.

Since we already know the dangers of ‘baking’ our precious skin in the sun, the old ‘fake tan in a can’ (or bottle) can give us a safer glow without any added risks.

So what exactly is sunless tanner and how can it turn our skin from pale white to golden brown?

DHA (dihydroxyacetone) is the key ingredient responsible for turning our skin brown (or orange if you’re unlucky). Natural and organic brands use DHA that is derived from natural ingredients like sugar cane and sugar beets, which is great news if you are trying to minimise your chemical exposure. Naturally derived DHA interacts with the ‘dead’ skin cells that lie in the top layers of your skin and turns them brown, which means as your skin sloughs these cells, your tan will start to fade. For this reason, weekly or twice weekly applications are recommended.

So how do I avoid that ‘orange’ look or the typical streaky finish?

Believe it or not, applying self-tanner is actually quite a skilful process and if you follow a few golden rules, you’ll have people totally believing you just spent a few weeks in Byron ( or insert your preferred beach location here).

Try these five steps to create a perfectly natural glow…

The day or night before:

      • Shave: this isn’t essential but if you already shave your legs, underarms or face (guys that’s you), this can help with a smoother application and finish.
      • Exfoliate: now this IS essential as dead skin cells will soak up extra tanner and create a patchy look. You want to start with a totally blank canvas so be sure to exfoliate with a glove or brush paying particular attention to rough areas such as knees and elbows. MooGoo Espresso Exfoliant works beautifully!
      • Hydrate: Slather on a rich moisturiser and leave to soak-in, preferably overnight. Hydrated skin helps the tan to colour evenly and prolongs the length of your tan.

The day of:

        • Apply: using a mitt or pair of disposable gloves, apply as evenly as possible (try to have someone rub in hard-to-reach places such as your back) and rub in until completely absorbed. A mitt or gloves will prevent your palms turning orange. Try WotNot Tan Application Mitt for a perfect, streak free finish.
        • Air-dry: if possible let your body dry for at least 30 minutes before getting dressed as this will stop streaking and unwanted marks. Finally, try not to shower for at least 12 hours to allow the tan to fully develop.

Extra tip: Make sure you moisturise your body daily to extend the life of your tan.

So now you’ve got the secret steps in hand, you’re probably wondering which products work well. With so many chemical based tanners on the market, we’re quite selective about quality natural and organic tanners that use only the active DHA in a base of nourishing oils, aloe-vera and other plant based ingredients.

We recommend:

Lavera Self-Tanning Body Lotion: Get a smooth glowing natural tan in just 3 hours with Lavera’s best-selling product. It is excellent for dry skin and gives a gorgeous, streak free finish with a delightful smell. It has also won awards such as Miss Eco Glam Award 2010 for Best Fake Tan and the Natural Health Award 2010.

Key ingredients include: aloe vera, sunflower, macadamia and jojoba oils and lemon and lavender essential oils

MooGoo Natural Gradual Tanning Cream:  based on MooGoo’s original Full Cream moisturiser, with added DHA and Erythrulose (from sugar cane) to actively colour the skin. This formula is particularly good for people with sensitive skin or conditions such as eczema or psoriasis and contains no parabens or benzoates or other irritating ingredients.

Key ingredients include: sweet almond, olive and coconut oil, aloe vera, hydrolysed milk protein (for skin elasticity) and green tea extract (anti-ageing and antioxidant benefits)

WotNot Natural Self Tan Lotion:

This super hydrating formula contains certified organic coconut oil and aloe-vera to moisturise and soothe, leaving a beautiful tan that fades naturally. Australian certified organic Kakadu plum and camellia oil are also added to provide antioxidants and nutrients to help slow the ageing process.

Key ingredients include: aloe vera leaf juice, plant based oils (coconut, olive, sunflower, camellia and linseed), Kakadu plum and green tea extract

written by Emma H for go natural foods

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