It’s that time of year again – pants start being replaced by skirts, we brave the outdoors sans-tights and those bare legs come out! But with the sun’s tendency to be unpredictable, you never know when you might need your legs ready-to-go. To avoid being caught off-guard, we’ve pulled together the perfect skin prep and tanning guide.
Before we start talking tanning products, we need to go back to basics…
Skincare Basics & Pre-Tan Prep
First thing’s first – start with a silky smooth base and get rid of those leg hairs! Whether you prefer to wax, shave or pluck, make sure you remove any unwanted hairs before you begin your tanning regime. Remember to be gentle and steer clear of harsh products to avoid red marks and nasty rashes.
Next, get your exfoliate on. It’s very important to this after you’ve removed any hair as it helps to gently remove any dead skin on your legs (particularly around the hair follicles), leaving you with baby-soft skin. The skin on your legs is fairly resilient, so there are a few options when it comes to exfoliating. A loofah or exfoliating gloves used with your favourite soap or body wash will help scrub away that dead skin, otherwise you can try an exfoliating scrub or gel. It’s important not to over exfoliate, so keep it to once a week to avoid any scaly dry surface skin.
The next step is to moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! A luxurious rich body butter gives the skin an intense burst of moisture that lasts all day, while a lighter body lotion is more quickly absorbed into the skin and is better if you prefer something less greasy. Maintain your beautiful silky skin by moisturising your body at least once to twice a day, ideally after a shower – this will keep the skin hydrated and help avoid the build-up of dead skin.
– Keep your exfoliating product in the shower as a reminder to exfoliate weekly
– Exfoliate your entire body (not just your legs) for beautifully soft skin all year round
– Twice-daily moisturising will keep your skin hydrated and supple
– Apply moisturiser in a circular motion to help increase circulation [/one_half]
Our Picks: Body Care
Braun Silk Epilator
Compact and easy to use, this epilator will gently remove any unwanted hair
Manicare Exfoliating Gloves
Leave these in the shower and use with shower gel once a week
We love this fresh and gentle exfoliator, best applied once per week in the shower
Kiehl’s Body Butter
This creamy body butter is best applied straight after you shower for silky soft skin
Self Tanning 101
After you’ve done all your pre-tan prep, your skin is ready for a tanning application. We love self tans that develop gradually for a subtle natural colour, but if you do need that quick, one-night-only bronze-up then an instant tan is the way to go. The main difference is that developing tans generally require multiple applications across a few days to achieve the perfect level of bronze, while instant tans provide immediate colour and can usually be washed off easily in the shower.
– Apply self tan in a circular motion on the skin for an even coverage, and use a self tanning glove for an even finish.
– Avoid using too much product, especially with developing tans. Don’t be fooled by their transparency on the first application.
– Be sure to blend well around the knees, elbows, wrists and feet – these are known areas to show up a poor tan application.
– Always lay an old towel or sheet down on the floor when applying a spray-on tan.
– Wash your hands extremely well after any tanning application.[/one_half]
Our Picks: Self Tans
Ideal for a quick fix colour, this gives an instant tan that can be easily washed off
For when you want a long lasting colour, this lightweight lotion develops with each application
A spray tan in a can that’s easy to use and lasts for a few days
Designed especially for the face, this lotion gives a subtle & natural colour without streaking