Whether you are enjoying a gorgeous summer’s day or fighting the cold winter’s chill, a bit of colour on ones skin can even out your skin tone and create a far more appealing illusion. It can help to reduce visible cellulite and cover up chicken skin. But we all know how awfully dangerous actual tanning can be and that it should be avoided at all costs. So the best way to create that golden glow is definitely through using self-tan. With so many streaky, stinky mistakes when applying self-tan I think most of us try to avoid it in fear of looking like an orange oompa loompa zebra.

1) The first step is to decide on what type of tan you are after and what your current skin type is, I always like to think of this rule as the same one as with hair dye, rather only change your colour by two shades. This avoids a terribly unnatural and often orangey appearance. These days most self-tans come in three or more different variants to suit your current specific shade so do stick to these guidelines. I am for instance a “B” from Caribbean Tan’s range.

2) Selecting the right brand of self-tan can be a daunting task, there are so many available these days from drug store to higher end brands. When it comes to quality price is never a good indicator in this field, I have found awful expensive bottles and cheaper ones that work brilliantly. Generally my go-to brand is Caribbean Tan which is very reasonably priced ranging at around R80. Piz Buin and Clarins are also fabulous.

3) Exfoliate. Exfoliate. Exfoliate. Scrub all the dead skin cells away. This helps for three reasons…one you don’t waste self tan on skin cells that are going to fall off the next day, this leads to two, as it prevents a streaky appearance. Ever gone to bed looking all even and woken up all patchy after showering? Finally getting rid of dead skin cells allows your skin to have that gorgeous natural glow that coupled with a fresh tan creates a healthy appearance.

4) Use a mitt. This makes a world of difference! You are more likely to get an even outcome and it is far less messy to apply which also means no orange palms.

5) Finally after self-tanning use a very rich body butter, it helps to maintain the tan and keeps your skin hydrated. I find that self-tanning in winter causes me to be more conscious of moisturising my body which is always a good thing.

These are my ultimate self-tan tools…

1- Caribbean Tan Body Exfolia Cinnamon and Coconut scrub, currently on special on Rubybox’s online store

2- Caribbean Tan, Tan in a Can gradual tanner in B

3- Xen Tan deluxe tanning Mitt

4- Kiehls Crème de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Cream, available from Kiehl’s outlets (Sandton, Eastgate) and the Edgars Fashion Hotline for R585

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