With summer on the way, many of us turn our focus on our figures, with terms like 'summer body' and 'bikini body ready' frequently popping up across social media. However, for anyone struggling with their body image, the thought of showing any amount of skin in the warmer months can de daunting. We spoke to Isle of Paradise Founder, Jules Von Hep about his experience with poor body image and how he turned to tanning to feel more confident, as well as the new Self Tanning Oil Mist.
What inspired you to create Isle of Paradise?
"I’ve been a spray tanner for over 15 years, staring at hundreds of naked bodies every week, travelling the world, listening to people talk about their appearance day in, day out really gave me a unique perception on body and self-image. I really know how much we use self tan to feel more confident. Previously I was working with traditional tanners and I found they went orange, they stunk of biscuits, they went patchy on the skin and I just couldn’t find product I wanted in my kit. I began mixing colour correcting make up on top of developed tan to correct orange tones, brighten the skin and cancel out redness or inflammation – I was being booked to create flawless skin, and traditional self tanner just wasn’t cutting it. I felt I had a duty to the world, if I was being profiled as the world's best spray tanner, but even I had to make special formulas backstage – how on earth was anyone else supposed to do it? Enter Isle of Paradise; my 15 year career in a bottle, overflowing with body confidence and infused with intelligent colour correcting actives. Babes".
How did self-tan help you with your own body image?
"I genuinely believe being a spray tanner saved me on my body confidence journey. I spent 20 years of my life hating how I looked, for what? I used to tan Victoria’s Secret models, A-list celebrities, some of whom were deemed the most beautiful people in the world, and when naked they’d apologise to me about their appearance. I slowly realised that actually my body wasn’t the problem, it was my perception. When we launched Isle of Paradise, I decided that I would go on a self love journey, I would start to love my body, so I began sharing my journey on social media. I’m in no way means the oracle, but I’ve heard every excuse going, and trust me someone who has seen you naked doesn’t remember anything about your body – all they remember is how you made them feel once you’ve left – happy, overjoyed, sad – it’s all in emotions not aesthetic".
How did your own body image impact your day-to-day life?
"I know how it feels to hate every inch of your appearance. I would cancel plans to go out because I hated how I looked, I hated clothes shopping, I hated being intimate with others, I hated having my picture taken – it was crippling and exhausting. My body hatred affected my social life, my love life, my work life. I consistently apologised about my appearance. Now I think, who cares?! There’s ANOTHER WAY!"
What made you feel more positively about your own body image?
"I did the work. I knew that if I was going to turn this ship around I would have to change the way I spoke to myself. For me, the relationship we have with our reflection and the conversation we have with ourselves as well as others hugely impacts our body confidence. I used to openly complain about how I hated my body, I'd physically grab my body and tell myself and others that I’m disgusting. This just wasn’t productive and actually, if someone thinks my body is disgusting well that’s on them, not me. I started focussing on the bits I liked about myself; I like my eyes, so in the morning getting ready I stopped calling myself fat and started saying ‘eyes look good today babe!’ then after a bit of time I’d add another body part into the mix, until eventually I now look in the mirror and say ‘you look good today babe!’".
What advice would you give to anyone struggling with low self-esteem?
"Babe, it’s a journey. Confidence doesn’t come overnight and having low self-esteem isn’t a bad thing, what it brings is empathy for when you become more body confident, you can understand how others feel. Remind yourself that what others see isn’t what you see. Sometimes we can be so comparative of others ‘I want their legs, I wish I had their hair’ but actually what we need to say is ‘wow they have great legs, good for them! I really like my [insert body part]’. It’s about changing the conversation with yourself to how you speak to your best friend – if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, why would you say it to yourself?! Also, if you use social media, change the scroll babe – make sure you only follow accounts that make you feel good, and mute the ones that don’t. Trust me, you do not have to follow anyone that makes you feel low".
How can false-tan help with body image?
"I’m a firm believer that self-tan won’t change the world, but if you feel more confident when you use self-tan, then you might change your world. For me personally, I am noticeably more confident in myself when I’m using Isle of Paradise. My skin is more even in its tone, my eyes look brighter, teeth whiter, my make up sits better. I’m obsessed – trust me I’m a tanner".
What advice would you give to someone who is learning to love their body without self-tan?
"There’s something really cathartic about the application process of self-tan, you quite literally have to rub your body naked in front of a mirror. I understand Isle of Paradise isn’t for everyone and honey, if it isn’t for you then use a body butter instead. Lather up that gorgeous skin of yours, put on Beyonce, shut the curtains and have a good dance around in your underwear. LIVE YOUR LIFE!"
How do you try to spread body positivity at Isle of Paradise?
"By using my own body as a canvas in social media, I try to spread the message that we can all tan, whatever our body shape, gender or skin tone. We preach and breathe diversity within our company, everything we do we always ask ourselves – how is this going to make someone feel? If Isle of Paradise was a dinner party you’d absolutely have a seat, with a cocktail and a lot of laughter – all are welcome!"
What is your go-to product to make you feel more confident in your own skin?
"I’m obsessed with our Green Drops and Green Water for my face, I tan my face every other day and if I ever forget, I notice it in my mood, I get harsher with myself in the mirror. If I wake up and see glowing skin I’m happy. For body, I am obsessed with our new Self Tanning Oil Mist, oh my sweet Lord, this is the tanning elixir we need in our life; glowy, dewy, hydrating – this biphase oil delivers the best vacation skin of.your.life."
Introducing the new Isle Of Paradise Self Tanning Oil Mist
What is the IOP Self Tanning Oil Mist?
It’s a bi-phase body oil that dispenses an ultra-fine mist on the skin for your quickest, easiest tan yet. The product is available in the brand's three signature colour-correcting shades: peach, green and violet, that work to smooth, brighten and even your skin tone. Expect visibly more radiant skin after just one use.
What are the key ingredients in the Mist?
Formulated with skin-loving ingredients, each key ingredient has a purpose:
- Glycerin: water attracting and super-hydrating, this is a powerhouse moisturiser for your skin.
- Squalane: works like the skin’s natural oil to prevent moisture loss and restore suppleness and gives the formula its lightweight and non-greasy texture.
- Hyaluronic acid: holds 1000x its weight in water to deliver a burst of moisture that penetrates deep into the skin.
- Sea kelp: antioxidant and skin soothing properties work to even the skin tone and calm irritation from dryness for your best ever base.
What are the benefits of the Mist?
- The most hydrating product in the IOP range, locking in moisture for 24-hours and allowing tan to penetrate deeper and last longer.
- Long-lasting tan for up to 7 days.
- Easy to apply mist allowing you to tan your body in under two minutes.
Jules' top tips for applying the new Self Tanning Oil Mist
Where should you apply the Mist?
"The mist is only suitable for body, for face I recommend our Self Tan Drops or Self Tan Facial Mists".
How should the Mist be applied for an even finish?
"Exfoliate prior to application babe. Put an old beach towel on the floor and moisturise the elbows, knees and feet. Spray the mist liberally over the skin, saturating the skin fully as you do so. Take an applicator mitt and sweep in lengthways motions over the skin. Use what’s left on the mitt from sweeping over the body and run over the tops of your hands just once. Wipe palms, nails and remoisturise your hands".
Is the Mist suitable for all skin tones and types?
"Absolutely. A misconception is that self-tan is only for 1 skin tone – NOT THE CASE BABES. The best way to think of Isle of Paradise is a product that can help you look like you’ve been on the best vacation of your life. For lighter skin tones lets think glow, dewy, brighter complexion. For medium to olive skin tones think golden, warm sun-kissed skin and for darker skin tones self-tan removes any blue or ash undertone in the skin.For those who have sensitive skin I recommend patch testing prior to application however IOP doesn’t contain parabens, mineral oils, phthalates and other synthetic fragrances that may cause a reaction on sensitive skin".
What makes the Mist different from other products in the IOP range?
"The mist is a biphase self-tan, meaning it’s oil based. The oil is enriched with hyaluronic acid, squalene, glycerin and sea kelp which means – HYDRATION STATION QUEEN. Skin will be noticeably softer for up to 24 hours after application and if you’re tan's hydrated, the skin pops. Trust me".