The first ever sunless tanning product beckoned from beauty counters in the 1960s, and in the decades since, the world has sadly witnessed many a Tangy Cheese Dorito/human hybrid. Fortunately, producers and shoppers have learnt a lot over the years.
But that's not to say getting a faux glow is fool proof. Even for the elite self-tan fans among us, all it takes is a patch of dry skin or a splash of baby oil, and your picture-perfect glow can become mottled. That's why we've curated a list of some of the most common yet difficult-to-solve tanning dilemmas, alongside some top Tropic solutions for a smooth, flawless finish.
Dilemma 1: "OMG I'm so streaky!"
Solution: If your tan's patchy and you need a quick fix, your best bet is to grab a product made with glycolic acid. Our Super Smooth Resurfacing Body Lotion is bursting with this exfoliating ingredient, safely fading an imperfect tan, whatever your skin type. To avoid an uneven tan in the first place, you should prep your entire body before trying to achieve your glow goals. Make sure you take the time to exfoliate the day before tanning – whether you use a luxurious scrub like our iconic Body Smooth Refreshing Polish, or do it the quick and easy way with an Exfoliating Mitt. Buff away dry skin, as this is what soaks up extra product and causes patches.
Dilemma 2: "I was a bit over-zealous with the tan – now I'm turning orange!"
Solution: Actually, turning orange isn't necessarily your fault. When a tanning product is formulated with too much dihydroxyacetone (DHA) – the colourless chemical that reacts with the amino acids in your skin to produce a temporary pigment – it can develop into a Wotsit-orange tint that looks unnatural.
For an 'I woke up like this' glow, our Sun Drench Overnight Tanning Mousse avoids DHAs altogether, opting for our patented plant allo-melanin instead. This intelligent, colour-correcting formula works by mimicking the shade of your skin’s own melanin, therefore dodging that 'fake' tango tinge and creating an even, natural-looking tan.
Dilemma 3: "Ah, my hands are developing darker than the rest of my body!"
Solution: To prevent hands from absorbing excess product, very gently buff your palms, between your fingers, and around the fingernails with our Exfoliating Mitt. Do this before and after putting on your self-tan. Once you’ve applied the tan, you could also add a squeeze of nourishing Superfood Hand Therapy – about the size of a £1 coin – to the bottoms of your palms and inner wrists, blending out for a flawless glow.
Dilemma 4: "It's not humanly possible to tan my own back!"
Solution: Sure, not all of us have a partner on standby to massage fake tan onto those hard-to-reach places, but have you ever tried tanning with a wooden spoon? This may sound unconventional (or downright comical), but hear us out...
Make your way to the kitchen, grab a long, wooden spoon, and attach our velvety soft Tanning Mitt to it with a rubber band. Add a generous squirt of your desired tan onto the mitt and stroke your new contraption in circular motions up and down your back, frequently checking in the mirror that it's going on nice and evenly. This will enable you to reach all those tricky areas, and it'll even do the job without answering back!
Dilemma 5: "Fake tan-stained nails are killing my vibe!"
Solution: The best way to avoid orange nails is to use a tanning mitt and avoid contact altogether. To make the process even more fool proof, rub a thin layer of lip balm, like our buttery Lip Shade, on your nails to create a barrier that can easily be wiped away, along with any excess product that may have left stains.
Mitt on, hair up: it's time to glow up and get down to mastering your streak-free, natural-looking tan!