Faux Tan Without the Faux Pas

| 21 December , 2009 | Reply

Natalie Aroyan from Pink Hibiscus

With the Aussie Summer fast approaching and the gorgeous beaches calling our names…we thought it was the right time to chat about fake tanning.My theory is that you always look slimmer tanned and after the regular winter blowouts that a lot of us have, the safest and most effective way to achieve that more ‘streamlined\’ look is via one of the many fake tanning products on the market.

Having worked in the tanning industry for 5 years, I have seen so many products come and go and have heard some real horror stories from my clients. Regardless of the advances in “tanning technology” it constantly surprises me that there are still products out there that give you that dreaded orange glow!

We\’ll focus on take home self tanners in this article and will explore the many spray tanning options in the coming weeks for you.

I have always worked with and recommended Fantasy Tan Australia because they are the only range that I\’ve found that deliver a natural brown tan that fades evenly and smells great on application. When they released their retail range several years ago, I was so excited because they had found a way to bottle their awesome spray tan and I could trust the results would be just as natural and fabulous!

When applying a fake tan of any type, it\’s extremely important to prepare the body. A lot of my friends and clients will prep really well for  a spray tan but not be as fastidious with an at home tan…what\’s the difference?! The better you prep, the better the results…so here\’s  an easy, step-by-step guide for you:

The Day Before You Become a Bronzed Goddess:

Step 1: Shave/Wax/Epilate/Depilatory Cream away those unwanted hairs. By doing this the day before you\’re giving your pores a chance to settle and close before applying your tan. You risk the chance of spotting if you do this step on the day of a tan…and who wants to look like a cheetah?

Step 2: Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! A lot of my clients fall into the trap of thinking that this step isn\’t needed unless they need to remove old tan…this couldn\’t be further from the truth! Your skin will naturally shed itself every 7-10 days (depending on how well you moisturise) and by encouraging this process prior to tanning, you are ensuring that the product you choose is being applied to the freshest skin possible. This will not only allow your tan to last longer but will result in a much more even tan that will fade as naturally as possible.

A question that I\’m asked regularly is whether an actual exfoliant is required or if exfoliating gloves or a loofah will suffice. This is up to you, but I would always recommend utilising an exfoliant for the best results. Further to this, please steer clear of any sugar or salt based scrubs as they are not only harsh on the skin but also very drying.

Moments Before You Become a Bronzed Goddess:

Step 1: Apply moisturiser to your hands, inside of your wrists, elbows, knees, feet and any other overly dry areas of skin to protect and prime the area prior to applying tan.

Step 2: Wear either surgical gloves or apply a product like Skinwear Invisible Glove (RRP: $14.00) that will protect your palms from getting tanned as well. Apply your desired tan to the specifications of the product you are using. Remember to always follow the directions on the product as each tan is different.

Ensure that every area of your body is covered remembering to stretch out the skin in areas of your body like, knees, ankles, elbows, smiley lines (aka underneath your bottom!) and knuckles. The dreaded tell tale white lines are to be avoided at all costs, especially when sporting a hot bikini at the beach!

Step 3: Wear loose clothes whilst allowing the tan to develop for the specified amount of time and try to avoid sweating or getting wet.

After Your Post Tan Shower:

Ensure that you lather your body in a decadent moisturiser morning and night (if possible) to ensure your tan  lasts as long as possible and fades evenly.

Don\’t use a moisturiser that contains AHAs (as it regenerates the skin therefore fading your tan) or one that promotes that it develops a tan (like Johnson & Johnson Holiday Skin). These moisturisers are not only high in alcohol but they also contain DHA (Dihydroxyacetone) which will add more colour to your tan and most likely turn your brown tan orange with the excess DHA on your skin. Another thing to note about the moisturisers on the market that slowly develop a tan is that their main task isn\’t moisturising. So, if you go down the route of using these products to create a bronzed glow, my recommendation would be to use a normal body moisturiser as well to ensure that your skin is actually nourished.

Beware of applying too much of these products – I have seen many, many orange clients who have begged me to fix their colour because they\’ve used these products as a moisturiser forgetting that they\’re actually applying a low dosage of tan every time! If you\’re caught in that situation, soak your body in a bath before exfoliating as much off as possible. You may need to do this for several days however as, unfortunately, there\’s no quick fix apart from covering up with clothes!


Pink Hibiscus Body Smoother – 250mL RRP: $24.00; ody Cocoon – 250mL RRP: $25.00; and Skinwear Tan & Go Mousse – 150mL RRP: $40.00
Pelactiv Body Scrub
RRP: $43.00
Dermalogica Body Scrub
180mL RRP: $53.00

Pure Fiji Body Butter
235mL RRP: $39.60

Ahava Mineral Body Lotion
250mL RRP: $33.00

Depending on the product you use, your tan should last approximately a week if you have prepared well and maintain it with loads of love! Enjoy the healthy and natural glow that a faux tan will give you and if you need any advice in this area, feel free to contact me at natalie@pinkhibiscus.com.au.

Natalie Aroyan is the creator of boutique skincare range Pink Hibiscus and was responsible for spray tanning some of Australia\’s hottest celebrities for many years. Her clients included Jackie O, Bessie Bardot and Miss World Australia 2007 Caroline Pemberton.


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