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No matter how reliable your tanning solution may be, even the best products can only work their magic if you exercise proper care in the preparation, application and maintenance of your tan. Whether you’re spray tanning a client, or self-tanning in the comfort of your own home, it’s crucial to watch out for these common tanning mistakes in order to achieve the smoothest long-lasting glow.
1. Forgetting to exfoliate: The golden rule of spray tanning is to exfoliate as well as possible before your tan to get rid of any dead skins cells. Bring on the loofahs and salt scrubs!
2. Hairy legs! Even if you exfoliate well, it’ll be difficult to achieve an even tan on stubbly legs. Take extra time to shave your legs before heading to the salon.
3. Neglecting to pull all your hair back: To avoid missing spots around the neck, pull your hair back with an elastic band and pin flyways in place before securing a shower cap. Voila!
4. Panda eyes: Dark circles can be emphasised by a deep tan, so apply a moisturiser to your eye area to dilute the effect. We promise people will think you’ve had your beauty sleep.
5. Swimming too soon or too often: Exposure to chlorine and salt water will quickly fade a spray tan, and even more while the tan is still developing. Make sure to wait at least six hours before making a splash.
6. Working up a sweat before the tan has set: If you want to look tanned for a night of dancing or need to log hours at the gym that day, make sure to apply your tan at least a few hours before your activity, if not the night before, to avoid unsightly streaking.
7. Missing or overdoing elbows and knees. These places are not only easy to overlook, but tend to be particularly dry. Give these areas extra attention when exfoliating, and take care when applying the solution to these spots- don’t overdo it!
8. Hands and feet look unnaturally dark: This can look artificial and be a dead giveaway of your fake tan so only apply a light coat to these areas but don’t miss out on them completely. To avoid looking like you have dirty hands and feet, it’s also a good idea to moisturise the bottom of your feet/toes and the palm of your hands before tanning.
9. Overdoing your face: A heavily bronzed or streaky face will draw too much (unwanted) attention to your spray tan, so you may want to opt for a lighter shade of solution or do one very light coat. If you’re using a tanning mousse, apply it in small amounts, as if you’re using moisturiser.
10. Your tan fades fast and patchy:As well as exfoliating before your spray tan, you need to moisturise your entire body on a daily basis afterwards to extend the lifespan of your colour and to avoid patchiness. A gradual tanner is perfect way to moisturise and extend the life of your tan before your next tanning session.
Avoid these common mistakes the next time you prepare for a spray tan, and we’re certain you’ll end up with a truly flawless tan.