Presented with Sahara Soul
Forget sun-baking. Fake tan is the easiest and safest option for getting the sun-kissed glow you crave. We know now that sunning ourselves for prolonged periods without SPF can lead to serious skin ageing and damage.
Thankfully, just as our understanding of sun damage has evolved, so, too has the formulation of most self-tanning products. That streaky, smelly, orange, faux-looking finish you remember from your school formal? Gone!
These days, modern self-tanners can complement your complexion, boost your glow and give you the confidence to bare your pins the minute the weather heats up – as long as you apply it correctly. Here, Chloe Weinthal of Australian self-tan brand Sahara Soul helps bust the most common tanning myths for a flawless tan, no matter the season.
Myth # 1: Moisturising beforehand will ruin your tan
Nope, not true, says Weinthal. After exfoliating, the next step in your self-tanner prep routine should be moisturising any dry patches, she adds. Moisturising can actually help you achieve a more even coverage, and make the application process smoother. Remember to apply moisturiser to areas like your ankles, knees, and wrists, which can soak up more colour since they tend to be on the drier side.
Whatever you do, though, don’t apply moisturiser as soon as you’ve washed off your self-tan, warns Weinthal, as the tan still needs more time to develop. Instead wait a few hours (until the tan has completely developed) and then begin moisturising daily to extend the life and quality of your tan.
Myth #2: It’s impossible to nail a streak-free tan
We’ve all been there: a rushed application before bed, that by morning has turned into to a patchy, streaked mess that can only be solved by being hidden under jeans and a blazer. The truth is a streak-free tan is very attainable – but only if you don’t rush it. “Sahara Soul is a very forgiving, velvety product which is so easy to use,” says Weinthal. The trick is to blend, blend, blend to prevent streaks and missed patches.
Weinthal recommends tanning post shower onto clean skin. Focus on one limb at a time, and apply one to two pumps of Sahara Soul Self Tanning Foam, $29.95, to a high quality application mitt such as, Sahara Soul Luxe Tanning Mitt, $11.95, before blending it in using circular motions. The mitt is ideal for preventing orange hands and palms and distributing your tan more easily. Top Tip: For your back, wrap a tanning mitt around a wooden spoon and fasten with an elastic band.
When it comes to your face, you can blend the tanning foam onto the face at the time of application or alternatively consider taking it slow and building to the desired glow over a few days. Sahara Soul’s Hydrating Facial Tanning Mist, $24.95, allows you customise the tan on your face with its gradual spray formula. Packed full of natural skin hydrators like Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, simply mist it over clean, moisturised skin.
Myth 3: All fake tan makes you look orange
Think again. These days, there’s a wide range of tanning products, to suit all skin tones. What makes Sahara Soul different is its unique brown base colour guide technology (most tans are green or red based). The brown base mimics the natural melanin in most skin types, therefore complementing it in the most natural way, regardless of your skin tone.
(And if you’re worried about the smell, don’t be: Sahara Soul was developed with a scent that’s “enriched with coconut oil, vitamins B, C and E and aloe vera to ensure the skin feels fresh and nourished”, says Weinthal.)
Myth #4: The chemicals in fake tan are bad for you
While some health experts have raised concerns about ingredients in self-tanning products – in particularly Docosahexaenoic acid – studies have been inconclusive. The good news is that Sahara Soul is vegan friendly, Australian-made and free from harmful chemicals and all parabens. The skincare additives included such as coconut oil, vitamins B, C, E and aloe vera make it suitable for those with sensitive skin and pregnancy safe.
Myth #5: If you skip the prep you’ll still get a great result
False! “Exfoliating prior to fake tanning assists in a smooth streak free application as you are creating an even base,” Weinthal explains. Dry skin soaks up extra self-tanner, causing unnaturally dark spots like those dreaded brown elbows and knees. Before you tan, remove dead skin by showering and exfoliating with a textured sponge or non-greasy scrub. We like Frank Body, Original Coffee Scrub, $16.95. If you plan to shave or wax, do it the day before you tan to avoid stripping away the colour.
Myth #6: You can’t avoid orange palms and wrists if you DIY tan
Thanks to application mitts, orange palms and wrists should be a tanning mistake we can happily leave behind in the 90s. “They guarantee the product doesn’t seep through,” Weinthal says.
Myth #7 : You shouldn’t use fake tan if you’re pale
If you have fair skin, you might understandably be concerned about trying self-tanners and looking unnatural. The trick is to adjust the colour depth by development length (in other words, leave it on for longer for a deeper result, and for less time for a subtle tan). Or opt for a gradual self-tanner, which requires a few applications to build up the colour, allowing you to customize your tan and remove any worry of a tan that’s darker than you’re comfortable with. Weinthal says that Sahara Soul’s brown-based colour is suitable for al skin tones and gives a warm, golden glow without any orange tones.
If you have fair skin, you may be afraid to reach for a self-tanner out of fear that it’ll end up looking incredibly unnatural. But you don’t have to worry! Sahara Soul’s brown based colour is suitable for al skin tones and gives a warm, golden glow. To find your perfect shade, Weinthal suggests, adjusting the colour depth by the development length (ie: less for a subtle tan and longer for a deep result) or amount of product applied.
This story was presented in partnership with Sahara Soul, an Australian, vegan, paragon-free self-tanning brand.