It's officially party season and no party prep is complete without a glowing tan. Here to help us all achieve the ultimate sun-kissed look this winter, we got the expert advice from Jules Von Hep, Founder of The Isle of Paradise, on how to tan like a pro this party season.
How to prep the skin before tanning
The week before
"The trick to a truly flawless glow is all in the prep" says Jules. To make sure your skin is fully prepared to absorb your tan, he recommends either shaving or waxing at least 24 hours before application and exfoliating with a dry brush or scrub. "This means your skin will have an even surface, so the final result will be even and, more importantly, it will fade evenly like a natural tan would".
Arguably one of the most important steps, make sure to do a patch test of any new product you're trying at least 24 hours before application, especially if you're prone to irritation or have any skin concerns. If you do have problematic skin or are pregnant, it's advised to consult your GP before using a new product.
On the day
Just before you're about to tan, make sure to remove any makeup or deodorant. "Don’t use a cleansing oil to remove make up as this will act as a barrier to the tan’s penetration" warns Jules. To fully prep the skin, Jules recommends the Isle of Paradise Prep it Self-Tan Priming Spray which helps to lower the skin's pH, allowing your tan to penetrate deeper into the skin. "You wouldn’t put make up on without a primer so why tan without one?". For the best results "spray this liberally and allow to absorb into your skin while you apply an aloe vera based moisturiser to your hands, elbows, knees and feet (including the heels)" says Jules. "If you are fair haired, apply some (moisturiser) to your hairline and eyebrows". This will prevent your tan from developing too dark in these dryer areas and particularly helps if you have dry skin. If you suffer from dry skin on the face and are looking to apply facial tanner, Jules suggests using a hyaluronic acid serum before tanning to give you a more natural finish.
How to apply false tan
Choosing your tan
Before you start applying your tan, you need to choose what texture of tanning product you wish to use. This will affect your application technique. There are three main textures to choose from:
- Mousse - applied directly onto a mitt and transferred onto the skin.
- Water - sprayed directly onto the skin before being buffed with a mitt.
- Drops - mixed into your daily face or body moisturised and massaged in.
No matter which one you choose, Jules stresses to always use a mitt. "A mitt protects the tan from absorbing into the hands but also helps evenly distribute the product. If you’re using tanning drops or waters you can rub in using your hands, just wash your palms with micellar water afterwards, but as a rule, I always mitt".
If you are using drops to tan, use Jule's ratio to create the perfect head to toe tan: "if using 12 drops per limb on the body (the maximum recommended), use 4 for face. If using 10 drops for the body, then use 2 for face, this ensures the most natural and even finish.
How to apply false tan on the body
Jules instructs to "always start from the ankles (not the feet, these come last!) and work your way up to the heart and chest in sweeping motions over the body" which will ensure that your product is distributed evenly. When it comes to tanning your back, "you CAN do this alone!" says Jules. "Just turn your mitt backwards and apply product directly onto skin, sweeping from side to side".
"With all tans, apply two coats to the body and one to face" advises Jules. Start again at the ankles, working your way up and repeating the process. "Use what is left on the mitt to apply to hands and feet and remember to wipe in between fingers and over finger nails with a damp cloth or make up wipe after application".
Jules' top tips: "rub your wrists together, this removes those pesky tell-tale tan lines!" and if you're in a rush, "speed up drying time using a hairdryer on cool setting all over the body. No electricity? Take a barber brush and translucent powder or talc, applying all over the body to set".
How to apply false tan on the face
To ensure your tan is consistent, use a facial tanner or face tanning drops to add the same sun-kissed shimmer to your face. Jules recommends the Isle of Paradise Self Tanning drops. "Simply add 2-12 drops to your favourite skincare to transform it into a custom self-tanner. The drops are a self-tanning concentrate so must always be mixed (think of them like a cordial!). You are in control here, the depth of your tan is up to you – the more drops you add, the more self-tan you add to your moisturiser and therefore the richer your colour" says Jules. Once you have moisturised your face evenly, make sure to wash your hands to avoid any unwanted development.
How to prolong the life of your tan
When it come's to making your tan last longer, "moisturise, moisturise, moisturise" says Jules. This will help to keep the skin hydrated and healthy, preventing your tan from flaking off.
Once your tan is ready for a refresh, use a tan remover such as the Isle of Paradise Over It Magic Self-Tan Eraser that gently exfoliates away your remaining tan so that you can start again!