The tanning tips every redhead needs to know
Red hair and pale skin tend to go hand-in-hand, so if (like me) you’re a redhead who is trying NOT to resemble Casper the Friendly Ghost, you’ll need to call in some trusty reinforcements. Most redheads lack the ability to tan naturally (not that anyone should be out in the sun without an SPF50 anyway), so the only safe way to get a couple of shades darker is to implement a great fake tan routine.
Here’s how to achieve your ultimate golden glow without channeling Lindsay Lohan circa 2007...
TIP #1: Hair removal
Fake tan aficionados know the importance of shaving your legs and underarms before applying tan, but an area that’s often overlooked in regards to hair removal is the face. When you have red hair and do a fake tan, the hair on your face can look more golden and really catch the light. This isn’t a problem when your skin is fair, however, once you have some tan on even the tiniest of hairs can become noticeable. If you want to avoid the golden mustache look, I'd recommend a lip and brow wax a few days before you plan on tanning. You could also shave (just your lip - never shave your brows), but because the hair grows back so quickly you’ll run into the same problem within a couple of days.
TIP #2: Exfoliation
Arguably the most important step for all good tanning routines, regardless of hair colour, is to give your skin a thorough exfoliation. The day before you plan on doing your tan, give your body a good scrub with an exfoliation mitt or loofah, finishing off with a body scrub to make sure all dead skin is removed. A smooth base = a longer lasting tan. Not to mention this prep step will save your tan from clinging to any dry patches.
bh loves: LYCON Body Exfoliant, Daily Concepts Daily Exfoliating Gloves, The Body Shop Bath Gloves, Glow Lab Body Scrub, UpCircle Body Scrub Coffee & Tangerine, Bodecare Organic Egyptian Loofah (on rope), Mitten Classic Medium Deep Exfoliating Body Mitt
TIP #3: Go for a lighter formula
When your skin is on the paler side, your tan looking overly fake or orange is a very real risk. In order to get yours to look natural, seek out tans that describe themselves as good for light and medium skin tones. If you get tempted by ones labeled ‘dark’ or ‘deep’ there’s a big chance your tan will come off looking unnaturally dark. On that note, there’s nothing wrong with going for an extra bronzed look if that’s your thing! Just be careful to make sure it’s even, as any streaks will be made more obvious by the contrast of your pale skin.
bh loves: JERGENS Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse, St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse, Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam - Light/Medium, Le Tan Uber Dark Ash Base, Paula's Choice Sun 365 Self-Tanning Foam
TIP #4: Tan your face
The first place most tans start to fade is the face and hands. The face because of all the cleansing/ serums/ exfoliants we use, and the hands because of all the washing and sanitising. Having a white face and hands with a tanned body doesn’t scream natural, but turns out it’s entirely avoidable. Tans formulated specifically for your face are perfect for using as the last step in your skincare routine to keep your tan looking fresh while also not clogging your pores. After using it on your face, rub some onto the back of your hands to keep that area looking consistent too.
TIP #5 Upkeep
Now that you’re tanned to perfection, the last thing we want is for it to fade off in two days due to poor maintenance. The number one cause of premature death for a fake tan is dry skin, so keep yourself moisturised with a thick, unscented moisturiser like the Weleda Skin Food. Keeping your products unscented is also crucial for tan upkeep, as scented products can eat away at your tan. Keep this in mind for your body washes, cleansers and moisturisers too. Bondi Sands have even created a specially formulated hand wash, which won’t dry out your hands and helps your tan stay around for longer.
What’s your secret to the perfect fake tan?
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