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Does having a tan make you look slimmer?

woman suntanning

Most people say 'yes'!

Legs can appear longer and slimmer, wobbly thighs and upper arms never feel so bad when they are bronzed. A glowing tan can bring body confidence and will also even out your complexion - covering flaws and imperfections.

The odd spot or broken thread vein seems less noticeable. When you are tanned you can wear the bright and neon-coloured summer clothes without feeling washed out and bare legs suddenly look great.

However, we all know the dangers of sunburn - skin cancer and premature ageing.There are up to 9000 cases of melanoma every year in Britain and 2300 people die every year from skin cancer. The UK weather certainly does not make it easy to gradually and safely build up a golden tan.

As a nation we have the tendency to dash out as soon as the sun shines and expose our pale bodies to the golden rays - desperate to get a tan at all costs. However, due to our increasing knowledge of the long term damage that sun can do to our skins, fake tanning products have never been more popular.

before tanSatsuma look

We all want to look naturally tanned, but not orange! We've all seen the 'tangoed' celebrities and most of us would prefer a more subtle natural look - more California sunkissed than Florida orange!

Luckily, there are now lots of excellent fake tanning products - the manufacturers of the some of the latest lotions have even managed to get rid of that 'biscuity' smell that we have all had to put up with for many years.

There are now specific fake tan lotions for all parts of the body - face, body, legs and different degrees of tan - light or dark (depends on your natural skin colour which suits you best).

Choosing your tan

There are a huge range of fake tanning products to suit whatever type of tan you want:

Temporary tan

If you want an instant tan, but only for a short period or special occasion you can choose a product that washes off - a bronzing lotion or powder.The advantage is that you won't get any streaking that you can't easily get rid of. However, if you plan to wear something white it can tend to rub off onto clothing (like any make up).

Clinique Face Bronzing Gel Tint

There is also the option of an instant tan product with a fake tan combined. This will give you an immediate tan whilst building a fake tan, so when you shower hours later you should be brown underneath. The big advantage is that you can see where the lotion is when you apply it, so are more unlikely to end up with zebra legs!

Lancome Flash Bronzer Leg Gel

after tanBuilding a gradual tan daily

There are now brilliant body lotions that contain a small amount of fake tan that you apply daily to build up your colour. So as well as moisturising your skin daily you get the added bonus of gaining a natural golden glow that builds to a tan. The main advantage of these particular lotions is that they are so mild in their tanning ability that you are unlikely to get streaks, as you build up your colour
up daily.They are available in two strengths usually - for fair or medium/dark skins.

Johnson's Holiday Skin Body Lotion

Fake Tan

There are many types of fake tan products - lotions, sprays and mousses. Instead of having to visit a beauty salon for fake tanning treatment - spray or lotion massage, many people are now using the products at home. Britons spend around £41 million on fake tanning products. Before you embark on your fake tan there are a few steps you need to take to ensure you avoid the dreaded streaking and gain a natural looking effect.

1. Exfoliate

Use an exfoliating lotion (they contain small particles to gently rub off the dead skin cells).Exfoliating mits can be useful. Use on all your skin you intend to tan, paying particular attention to the rough skin zones - elbows, knees, ankles and heels - otherwise these dry areas will absorb too much tan and look unnatural.

Shower and wash off - try not to use soap as it makes your skin alkaline which can make fake tan react and turn more orangey.You should now be smooth skinned and ready for the next stage.

2. Moisturise

Rub a body moisturiser onto your skin, again taking care to rub it well into the elbows, knees and feet.

3. Apply fake tan

Use thin latex gloves to apply the fake tan to avoid orange palms. If you are tanning your legs start with the feet, then work upwards to the calves and then the thighs - otherwise you bend and risk rubbing off the applied lotion! Some tanning lotions have a tint in them so you can see where you have rubbed it in.

When tanning the feet, just sweep down from the legs and make sure you don't overdo in between the toes or on ankle/heel area. Wear looseclothes whilst tan is developing - usually 4-6 hours. You may need another application for a deep intense tan and you should plan to top up in around 4 days time.

Most fake tan products don't contain any sunscreen so make sure you apply protection in the sun. Be careful - fake tan can stain carpets, clothing and soft furnishings.

Don't worry if you wake up streaky as there are tan corrector products which can help to remove any orangey areas ( as long as you use them within 5 hours of applying the fake tan).

It may sound a lot of effort to fake tan, but you get a glowing summery skin with no damage. If you can't face tanning your whole body you can get away with just tanning your arms, legs and face.

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Lotion

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