Instant self-tanners certainly have their place, especially when you need an emergency dose of colour for last minute events and occasions.
But if I had to choose between an instant or gradual tanner, I would always choose the gradual tanner. Here’s why.
A gradual self-tan lets you build up your colour naturally, giving you better overall tanning coverage, which can be adjusted daily by applying more or less, or stopping altogether, when you have reached your desired tanning tone.
Rather than giving your skin an instant and often irreversible tan, well at least for the next five days anyway, you get to control the colour of your skin when using gradual tan , as you can stop when you have reached the right skin tone or keep applying if you want to go darker. And the plus side is, no one will even know.
Day by day, your skin will deepen in tone with a natural tanning glow, creating the illusion you are sunbaking daily. Rather than being white one day and seriously brown the next.
And if you are fair to light in skin tone, instant self-tanners don’t always result in a beautiful glowing brown shade. The result often leans more towards an orange shade of brown.
Gradual self-tan is the most fool-proof way of tanning skin with a sunless formula which truly does deliver a healthy dose of golden brown to the skin – naturally.
Depending on your skin type and how it reacts to self-tan, you may need to trial the best type of routine for yourself.
I have medium fair and fairly dry skin on the body, so I always exfoliate in the shower and then moisturise with a light body cream. I do this to prevent any dry spots on the body from grabbing too much of the self-tanner formulation which can often result in an uneven skin tone.
I wait a few hours for my body to absorb all the goodness from the moisturiser, before then going on to apply a gradual self-tan all over my body.
This is only for the first night of tanning. Every night after that, I use the gradual self-tanning formula as a replacement for my regular body cream.
I generally wait a few days before lightly exfoliating again, to remove any dead skin cells and then apply the gradual self-tanner again after showring to boost the colour of the tan already on my body.
Just be mindful not to use any coffee body scrubs during the gradual tanning process, as they will remove the tan altogether and you will need to start all over again. Stick to a shower gel and a soft body exfoliating tool.
Check out some of my favourite beginner-friendly gradual self-tanning formulas that won’t leave your skin looking orange
A fabulous formulation for the face. You simply spray onto your skin, and then massage in and viola. A beautiful golden tan to the face. Apply daily to depend the tan on face, to achieve desired colour. I use this daily at night before bed and wake to a nice dewy glow in the morning.
This gradual tanner can easily replace your daily moisturiser. Though, don”t use morning and night. Keep too using at night only after showering, to help control the type of colour you wish to achieve. The tan is gentle in tone, so can be easily used daily in the PM.
Seriously smells like a tropical island, and not in an icky chemical fake scent way either. I really liked the formulation of this gradual self-tanner. However, I noticed when I used it daily in the PM the gradual tan would tan too quick. So, I reduce to using it only every second to third night and was able to control the tanning process better.
For a soft Mediterranean goddess like golden glow, this is the best tanning lotion, as it gives skin a shimmery look once tanned and is completely streak-free and easy to apply daily.
This is your go-to product if you’re new to self-tanning or just want the “so natural it couldn’t possibly come from a bottle” look. It can be used daily in the PM to upkeep a nice soft glow to the skin. It doesn’t stain any clothing or the sheets and has no smell. So easy to use as often as you like for a nice summer sun kissed look.
Perfect as a daily moisturiser, as it’s adaptable shade suits all skin tones. And once you have developed the perfect shade, it will last for a week and fade evenly over time. Unless you continue to top of course. With a fresh Eucalyptus fragrance, this gradual tanner will brighten, soften, and hydrate with the power of Pink Grapefruit, Goji Berry, and Juniper, the non-comedogenic formula is lightweight enough that it won’t clog pores and feels silky smooth on skin.
This revolutionary oil/lotion hybrid has become a cult favourite, melting into skin upon application and delivering natural, buildable colour. Your glow will develop in just 1 hour, giving the ultimate, natural-looking tan. It’s a multi-purpose formula and can be used as an aftersun moisturiser, and is perfect to maintain a post-holiday glow.
Self-tanning in general is the best way to avoid the sun’s harmful effects, and not just in summer, but all year around. A healthy dose of at least thirty minutes in the sun is also great for your skin and bone health.
However, to prevent causing any damage generally caused from spending too many hours in the sun to achieve the perfect tan, using a self-tanner is the best way to go.
And to keep your tan glowing, you need to adapt the right type of skincare routine in the morning to keep skin from drying out and appearing blotchy with the tan.
I’m obsessing over the Borcay Glow Bundle RRP $69.95 which includes their signature shimmering body oil and tanning coconut oil.
The coconut oil is a great daily moisturiser in the AM, after using a gradual self-tanner, to lock in the tan and protect from the elements. Although, if you do plan on going out into the sun, you will need to wear sunscreen, as it has no SPF in it.
For night, to add a soft shimmer to your fake (or natural) tan, use the shimmering body oil to enhance the tan, for the ultimate shimmer and glow to the skin. Perfect for legs and the décolletage area.
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