Dos & Don'ts of Fake Tanning & Moisturizing | Sundae School - Sundae Body

The Dos & Don'ts of Fake Tanning & Moisturizing

The Dos & Donts of Fake Tanning & Moisturizing

We all know it’s a big no-no to sunbathe to get a tan, but that doesn’t mean bronzed, glowing skin is totally unachievable. That’s why fake tan exists, the perfect solution to getting sun kissed skin without having to expose yourself to the sun’s harsh UV rays.

The way that most fake tans work is pretty simple. Fake tans contain a coloring agent called DHA (dihydroxyacetone), which reacts with the amino acids in the skin to cause that lovely brown color. Unlike the reaction caused by UV rays, this tan is totally safe because it only involves the outermost (AKA dead) cell layer of the skin. The brown color sticks around until the dead skin cells on the body are exfoliated or shed naturally during skin regeneration.

The trick to a stunning fake tan (i.e. no dark spots or patchiness) is all in your skin. You need to make sure your skin is exfoliated and hydrated to stop the tan from clinging to dry areas, especially your elbows and knees. This ensures an even tan, giving you the peace of mind to put on that mini dress without worrying about the dreaded tan patches.

The big question is, should you moisturize before or after fake tanning? Or both?

Moisturizing before or after fake tan – which one is it?

The pros and cons of moisturizing before fake tanning:

Your fake tan routine should start waaaay before you even get your tanning mitt out. The first thing you need to do is slog away any dry or flaky skin by using a dry body brush pre-shower and an exfoliating wash in the shower.

After you’ve dried yourself off, lather yourself up in a nourishing moisturizer. You need to make sure you lock all the moisture in and cover yourself evenly, so the tan doesn’t cling to certain areas and get patchy.

Wrist, ankles, elbows, and knees – give them some extra love, because that's where the tan loves to hang. The pro of moisturizing before tanning is that you get that picture-perfect, even glow. As for the cons of using moisturizer before tanning? There’s none to worry about!

The pros and cons of moisturizing after fake tanning:

So you've just nailed that fake tan and you're radiating a sun-kissed glow. *Chefs kiss*. Moisturizing is the best way to extend that tan’s stay on your skin, locking in color and maintaining your skin’s hydration to stop any unwanted peeling or flaking.

The best way to extend the tan’s stay on your skin? It’s moisturizing after your tan. 

As for potential pitfalls when it comes to moisturizing after a fake tan, all you need to do is be wary of heavy moisturizers that could cause your tan to melt away before it has set in. Opt for a lightweight and fast-absorbing moisturizer instead, to keep your tan on and looking good.

Okay, but what about spray tanning?

The moisturizing rule book changes a little if you’ve gone for a spray tan instead of a fake tan. Moisturizing before a spray tan preps your skin the same way it does when fake tanning, so definitely keep doing this. The post spray tan moisturizing routine is a little different, though. Give it a few hours after tanning before moisturizing to allow the tan to really set. This means no more surprise brown marks after you’re four margaritas deep on the dance floor (the worst).

So, should you moisturize before a fake tan? Yes. And should you moisturize after a fake tan? Absolutely. Do it right (and with the right moisturizer), and you'll get that gorgeous glow without the sun destroying your skin. It’s a win-win.

 Happy Sundae x


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