I suspect this won’t be an issue for many of you reading, either because you sensibly aren’t perturbed by your natural skin colour while semi-clothed, or because you sunbathe to get a tan and have no qualms about damaging your skin (no such thing as a ‘healthy tan’, it’s all bad news, etc.) or courting skin cancer.
But for anyone who, like me, doesn’t fall into the above categories and for whom one of the more diverting pastimes on holiday as a youth used to be comparing whose skin had done the best job of changing colour, and consequently considers being a bit tanned par for the course on a sun holiday while also facilitating the necessary confidence to remove almost all one’s clothes in broad daylight in front of many strangers, the below might be helpful.
First, get a base tan. I do not mean exposing skin to the sun prior to going away. I mean getting the fake tanning underway before you go, so that the first outing doesn’t result in a panic that sends you to the supermarket for some of that terrifying SPF 5 oil that my friend Ollie used to slather all over himself before lying in the sun like a rotisserie chicken, cooking.
This time, I had a spray tan with Isle of Paradise [press appointment], but also have enormous confidence in Garnier’s Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer Self Tan Body and Face Mists which I use regularly at home (one rule here: let the mist dry before you dress, even if it means standing around flapping your arms absurdly like a demented bird for a little while).
I have also switched my usual aftersun for a gradual tan, figuring that it would still hydrate but also add a little dash of colour daily and, crucially, wouldn’t require any extra grooming time.
I’ve packed La Mer The Face and Body Gradual Tan for my bod, and Sisley Self Tanning Facial Skincare for my face, though friends who hold this technique dear have told me that the rather less spendy Garnier Summer Body Gradual Tan is also an excellent choice (Davina McCall also raved about this product during her episode of Beauty Full Lives).
Whichever product you opt for, make sure you massage it in thoroughly – I find therein lies the difference between an even fake tan and one that’s streaky and collects in elbow creases/slightly webbed areas between fingers.
*Links are affiliate. I’ve never worked with or been paid to advertise any of the brands mentioned. The La Mer and Sisley products were gifted.