The Truth About Tanning And Keeping That Colour

We all love that faux glow that looks like we’ve had a week in Barbados, but with so many brands making big claims, and with hundreds of products on the market, just how do you dispel the tanning myths?

We’ve all been drawn in by the headlines ‘the tan that lasts two weeks’, ‘tan in the shower’, ‘tan and lose pounds’, and how many times have we all heard it’s ‘the world’s first’? Belle About Town decided to go to the experts so we contacted Fake Bake Global consultant, Sandra Vaughan and Global Creative Consultant James Harknett and asked them – just what is the truth about tanning?

Myth: The Skinny Tan

Sandra says: “There are no clinical trials or medical evidence that a false tan can help you lose pounds or inches. We may want to believe it, but no lotion or potion can make you skinny”. Whilst a tan is not a miracle cure, a faux glow can create the illusion of a more defined, toned appearance. James Harknett, Global Creative Consultant at Fake Bake says: “The secret of a defined flatter tummy is contouring on a second coat of tan. The contoured effect is achieved by sweeping your product from the side of the stomach to the centre of the tummy using a foam tanning mitt. It’s almost like you are sweeping yourself thinner. This works on the legs and décolleté too.”

Myth: The tan that lasts for two weeks

A tan that lasts for two weeks? Not possible explains Sandra: “Human skin naturally sloughs off every 5-7 days, making it impossible for a tan to last longer than the natural skin cycle.” James Harknett agrees, saying: “A good false tanner will last on your skin 5-7 days, providing you look after it. My top tips are to keep out of excessively hot water, especially baths, and pat the skin dry after showering. Also moisturise every day with an emollient free product to lock in the colour.”

Myth: The Shower Tan

This ‘first to market’ innovation took the beauty world by surprise, but not Sandra who was familiar with the process “This formula has been around for years in the USA, there has been a very similar product on the market all this time’.

Myth: Tantouring

Tantouring is a big buzz word in the industry, with some taking claim to creating the trend. However, as James explains, this technique has been around for over a decade: “Tantouring became a buzz word last year and has been used a lot recently to describe the constant search for a contoured fake tan. Personally I’ve been layering my spray tans for over 10 years to create a 3D look for my clients. Each time I have a different body in front of me I work with their individual physique to enhance and shade it.”

Myth: Streaks are Inevitable

Streaks are easily avoided, if tan is applied correctly, explains James: “Avoid streaks by applying your tan to smooth moisture-free limbs, simply moisturise sparingly on dry areas such as ankles, knees and elbows. Moisturiser can block tan from activating evenly across the skin’s surface. Always exfoliate before self tanning as this will remove dead cells, and ensure you shave no less than 24hours before application, to give all pores the chance to close over which will avoid guide colour seeping into them. Finally, use a product with a guide colour that allows you to see where you are tanning.

Myth: Fake Tan is For Women

New research (on over 1,200 men) from Fake Bake has found that more men than ever are using fake tan as part of their grooming routine. In fact 53% admit to tanning in ‘secret’ and a whopping 69% of men aged between 25 and 44 admit to using their partner’s beauty products including their tanning products. Once seen as something only women did in secret, most of the men (33%) admitted it’s no longer acceptable to use a sunbed and with the price of overseas travel rocketing, it’s become vital for gents to hit the bottle for that golden all year-round glow. At The Away Spa in London’s W Hotel, James tans around 50 males per month, and he has seen the figure rising by 10% each year. When asked which trend he has seen rocket this year, James said: “More and more men are asking to be defined and contoured. No matter what the body shape darker and shaded skin boosts body confidence.”





Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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