Bondi Beauty spoke to St Tropez skin finishing expert Michael Brown for the best insider tips on how to ensure your self-tan is the best you can get.
1) Why do some self-tanning products suit some skin types and not others? And what is the secret to finding the right colour for your skin?
Every tan, just like a foundation, has an undertone. St Tropez tan products have a green undertone, which is great for all skin types. For pink based skin it reduces the red undertones which helps the tan appear more bronze, rather than orange. For olive skin, the deep bronze tone is perfect for enhancing a golden skin tone. I always look for green based tans as they suit more people.
2) For someone who has never tanned or at the start of the season, what is the best way to apply self-tan the first time?
If you have never applied a tan before, I recommend trying a gradual tan. I love the St.Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Body Lotion (RRP $ 33.95). It builds colour gradually so you do not get a big shock if you get a little too dark first go. The more you use, the darker you will go. Gradual Tan is great to use each day of the week before a big event to ensure a flawless, golden glow.
3) What are the tricks to be wary of to ensure a smooth, streak-free tan?
Our hands have natural grooves in them, so sometimes they can catch tan and create a streak without you knowing. I always use a mitt. The smooth and flat surface helps it glide over the body easily, creating an even, streak free tan.
4) How do you reach your back?
This is a tough one. A partner is oh so helpful, however I also find that a tan applicator mitt attached to body loofa with a handle is great for achieving a flawless application on your back.
5) Are there any areas of the body to be wary of?
Always moisturise the driest areas of the body, such as your elbows, hands, elbows and feet prior to a tan. Tan can catch on these areas and cause a darker colour, which in turn makes tan appear streaking and uneven.
6) How long should a self-tan last?
A good self-tan should last at least 4-5 days, however the longevity of a tan is dependant on the prep that goes into it. Tan applied to dry, dehydrated skin will become patchy almost immediately. To increase the life of your tan it is essential to increase the moisture levels in your skin.
7) How can you extend the life of a self-tan?
Moisture! Dry skin creates patchiness, to prevent this moisturise daily. This will help to add longevity to your tan.
8) Should you always tan your face to match your body?
I recommend tanning the face to match the tan on your body as it helps to make the colour appear more natural. I prefer to use a specific face tan product as they tend to have more moisture in them to cater for thinner skin, which can have greater moisture loss.
9) How can you prevent tan rubbing off in bed?
It is common for any tan to slightly rub off on sheets if you have not showered after tan development. To avoid this I recommend showering before bed. St.Tropez now has a Self Tan Express formula $59.95 which develops within an hour, making it the perfect choice to avoid tan transfer onto sheets.
10) What about swimming, does chlorine or salt water pull tan off faster?
Swimming in chlorine and salt water can definitely make a tan wear away faster. To help combat this, I recommend applying gradual tan daily, as it works to boost the existing self tan colour.
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