Written by Alicia Lartey
Image by @fannybourdettedonon
Tanning is for everyone and yes that includes black girls too! Although the tanning landscape may not look diverse, most tanning brands carry a shade deep enough for darker skin tones. One of the most common questions I get asked when speaking about tanning, is which brands actually carry a tan that is rich enough to show up on darker skin tones and the truth is most of them do! My two current favourite tanning brands are Bondi Sands and Bare by Vogue because they offer tanning options that fit into a busy lifestyle.
When I think of tanning on deeper skin tones I always think about the tanning content from Jackie Aina and the discussions I’ve had on Twitter with Tiara Willis, fake tan looks gorgeous on deeper skin tones. Let’s explore the wonderful world of tanning together! I have been tanning for close to 10 years now and it is truly the beauty industry’s best-kept secret to glowing skin, body contouring, and hiding pigmentation in the skin. Once you learn the steps needed for tanning prep and upkeep, the process is easy and a lot less daunting.
Fake tanning can be used to disguise pigmentation and scars or to add a glow to your skin tone. I would not recommend applying fake tan over any cuts, abrasions, active acne, or inflamed eczema.
How to prepare your skin for fake tan
Just like makeup application, a great tan starts with an even greater base. I suggest preparing your skin either the night before or a couple of hours before you actually apply the tan.
1. Body brush! Exfoliating the skin allows your tan to stick to your skin evenly, I particularly favour body brushing to remove small patches of dry skin before getting in the shower.
2. Exfoliate again and remove your body hair in the shower to make sure your skin is not dry. The steam from the shower helps to loosen up debris in your pores to help the exfoliation process along.
3. Moisturise your skin very well and avoid using body oils before applying fake tan. Once your tan has developed you are free to apply your SPF and any oils before heading outside
Once you have established your skin prep, you can now begin experimenting with tanning products. The most traditional form of fake tan is a tanning foam, if you are very new to tanning I would suggest a gradual tanning lotion or a clear tanning solution. You will need a tanning mitt, makeup removal wipes, your tan of choice, and a body tanning brush.
- Always shake your tanning product well to avoid a streaky tan. Tanning is a chemical reaction between dihydroxyacetone and amino acids in your skin, therefore the solution works better when it is evenly distributed.
2. Make sure to pump out more product thank you think you need (you can apply the excess to a different area of the skin).
3. Work quickly, with firm pressure to apply the tanning product in a sweeping motion and also rub the product into your skin.
4. Using the body brush you can contour and layer your fake tan to give you a semi-permanent flawless makeup effect.
5. Make sure you remove the tanning solution from your palms, wrist and nails to avoid staining.
Hydra SPF 50
Pure foaming self tan
DermaSpa Summer Revived Self Tanning Body Lotion
One of the most annoying parts of fake tanning can be dealing with fading or patchy tan. Most tanning brands have tanning removal solutions, however you can also use an exfoliating moisturiser but this option can take a few days.
To prolong your tan, always wear SPF and apply moisturizer twice per day! Happy tanning!