Tried & Tested: Fake Tans

Tried & Tested: Fake Tans

I'm sure I speak for most of you when I say summer is without a doubt my favourite season. It brings with it longer days, lighter nights, colder drinks and warmer weather; although, the British sunshine is a little hit and miss! A healthy summer glow might not be the easiest thing to achieve and with many of us travelling abroad to obtain the bronzed look, we can't help but see the unfortunate effects all that tanning has on our skin.

As I remind my clients daily, a tan is nothing more than a scar on your skin. A little reminder of what your skin is actually doing whilst turning a deep shade of brown is sometimes all we need to reach for the bottle (of fake tan I mean!)

When our skin is exposed to UV radiation it activates our melanocytes. These are the cells in our skin that change the colour of our upper layers. They are also the cells that determine our eye colour and hair colour when we are born.

Things have come on a lot since the days of smelling like a pack of digestives whilst rocking your tangerine pins. No longer will you be shamed for being 'tangoed' because I have taken it upon my self to play tanning tester. All in the name of research, I tried, tested and tanned up with some of our industry's favourite body bronzers. Mitts at the ready...I put a poll out asking 50 of my tan obsessed clients what the criteria was for a good fake tan.

The 4 things it came down to were:

1) Colour - Of course, colour is without a doubt the most important. That's why we are spraying, moussing and lathering on these topicals after all!

2) Smell - Let's face it, we don't want to spend hours applying the perfect colour to rock up smelling like grandmas biscuit tin.There's a time and a place for the smell of baked goods and this isn't it.

3) Application - In a world where time is precious and everything needs to be quick and fast acting, it seems we don't want to have to stand in front of a fan for several hours waiting for the sticky stuff to dry.

4) Durability - Just how long does it last? We're partial to a quickie 1-hour wash off colour but sometimes we need something a little more sustainable in our lives.

First up is Dermaviduals Self Tan Cream

Smell: Like most Dermaviduals creams, this was 100% unscented; a refreshing change for a false tan.

Colour: It's white on application with no tanning guide.

Application: It's a light, thin texture, which makes application very easy. It doesn't feel sticky and is like a body milk. I normally like my creams a little thicker but if you hate that thick, gloopy feeling, this is the one for you.

Durability: After 2 days of application and several skin inspections, I finally see some colour come through. I even got complimented on my 'smooth' skin when wearing this lotion. This is defiantly a build up tan and should be used after showering and no less than 4 days before your holidays. It's a little slower acting than the others, but if you're a tanning virgin or pale skinned it's a safe bet. This was also the only tanner I could wear on my face without breaking out.

Score: 4/5

Next up is the Face and Body Bronzer from one of my favourite brands, Image Skincare.

Smell: Like coconuts in a tube! If you like the hairy nut then this is a winner but not everyone wants to smell like a pina colada. It certainly gets more points than smelling like a Jammie Dodger.

Colour: It's a creamy, white formula that turns dark after application. This is a bonus if you're messy and want to avoid yet another dodgy looking carpet stain. However, if you like to see where you're applying there is no colour indicator to guide you.

Application: It's much thicker than the Dermaviduals tanner and feels super nourishing on my body. Ticks the boxes for drier skins but maybe too much for heavily oiled ones.

Durability: After just 1 day of application I awoke to see a deep golden tan. Don't go heavy handed with this product, as less is definitely more to avoid looking like an Oompa Loompa overnight.

Score: 5/5

And last but not least... Jane Iredale Tantasia

Smell: At a push I'd say it smells of oranges. Honestly, I didn't like the smell one bit. But if it's a good tanner I could overlook this.

Colour: This one is the only one I tried that is tinted. It has a slight colour guideline but isn't enough to class as an instant tanner; it's more of an application guide to avoid streaks.

Application: The easiest one to apply because of its slight tint in colour. This meant I could see just how bad I am at evenly spreading tan as I managed to patch up my missed bits. It's much heavier than the other two tans to apply and took a little longer to sink in. Try applying at least an hour before bedtime to avoid getting sticky between the sheets.

Durability: After just one application I was looking a nice shade of 'Costa del Sol'. It's the deepest shade I have used and is better for medium to dark skin types as I think it would be little too much for English roses. I did, however, have to get the louffa out when it was time to remove as it liked my skin a little too much and clung to drier patches on my legs. Moisturising daily whilst wearing this tan is important to stop it from going scaly.

Score: 2/5

For any more information on these products, call our skincare experts on 0113 282 7744.

Written for you by: Emily, Face the Future