In the depths of winter I’m happy to embrace a slightly washed out complexion; it seems like a fair trade for huge scarves, snow days and mulled wine. Until then I’m all for hanging on to the last of a summer glow without resorting to endless, biscuit-y fake tan applications….and here’s how I’ve been attempting it.
Exfoliating is generally recommended before hitting the beach (well protected with sun lotion, obviously) and discouraged when you want to hold on to a tan. However I find using a very gentle body scrub once or twice a week can keep the dullness of drier skin at bay, leaving limbs looking tanned for longer. I’ve been using Clinique Sparkle Skin*, which admittedly doesn’t smell great – so much so that I didn’t touch it for a good month or two. Anyone who has had orthodontics of any kind will recognise the smell as the paste they use to make moulds of your teeth, but thankfully it doesn’t linger and the results are worth it. The particles are finely milled, so it thoroughly but gently exfoliates whilst offering a bit of a circulation boost.Newly sloughed skin needs a dose of moisture, but I’m both fussy and lazy with body lotions. I’ve found three that pass my test for efficacy and non-greasy texture; Emma Hardie Super Rich Body Butter* (the same beautiful smell as the balm cleanser with a lavish texture that keeps dull shins at bay), Pai Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream* (sinks in rapidly to damp skin and, as usual with Pai, is formulated with a discerning ingredients list making it ideal for sensitive skin) and, probably my favourite of the bunch, Orico Superico Omega Rich Body Oil* (a blend of 60% organic oils including rosehip and flaxseed, disappears into the skin as quickly as a dry oil but leaves the skin feeling more nourished and lightly spa-scented).
Whilst the point was to avoid reaching for the fake stuff, my face loses any semblance of tan much more quickly than my body. To balance things out without the commitment (or risk!) of fake tan, I dab a few drops of Dr Hauschka Bronze Concentrate onto the high points of my face at the same time as my foundation and blend them together with a buffing brush. I’ve found this offers a little more control and a more natural result than mixing the products together before applying. If I’m skipping base, I just rub a pump between my hands and press into moisturised skin, again focusing on the highest points. The incredibly light, liquid formula disappears into the skin and it’s a great match for my natural tan. It is a makeup product, so will come off when you cleanse, but it’s foolproof and versatile enough to use anywhere. In fact I saw this recommended for guys in a magazine a couple of weeks ago – it looks that natural.