Add a few drops of your favourite oil to a lukewarm bath to hydrate the skin whilst reviving or relaxing the senses. Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oils are simply stunning. Once you’ve finished your (large) glass of wine, read a chapter of your book or simply become bored of lying in the bath, start to gently scrub away your unwanted colour using a flannel and firm circular movements. Pay particular attention to stubborn tan hotspots – the knees, wrists, underarms and ankles. Alternatively, celebrity tanning guru James Read recommends going for an hour’s swim followed by a calming steam room session to fade tan evenly.
Shower & exfoliate
Nothing sloughs off a faux glow (and leaves limbs silky-soft) quite like a good exfoliator. For maximum tan-busting effects, choose those with large sugar or salt grains. Award-winning Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish and Bliss Hot Salt Scrub are beauty editor favourites.
For a more cost-effective alternative, use a natural sponge or loofah to buff-off your favourite shower gel, again, using circular movements. Our personal favourites are the delicious smelling Rituals Laughing Buddha Foaming Gel and pretty much the entire Korres Showergel range.
As with any rubbing and scrubbing session however, always ensure that you slather on that moisturiser afterwards! Make like Mediterranean señoritas and harness the skin-nourishing goodness of greens with Crabtree & Evelyn Avocado, Olive & Basil Body Butter or pilfer Cleopatra’s worst-kept beauty secret and lap up the skin-softening power of milk with Scottish Fine Soaps Au Lait Enriching Body Butter Tube. Alternatively, Fake Bake Oil Free Moisturiser and Jason Moisturizing Gel are non-oil based and light, so ideal for applying before a new layer of fake tan.
TIP: Supercharge your exfoliator by adding a few squeezes of lemon and lime juice – trust us, it really works!
Easy-peasy lemon squeezy facial exfoliator
- Half a cup of lemon juice
- Half a cup of bicarbonate of soda
Mix together until a smooth paste (not liquid) forms .
Apply this cheap and cheerful concoction to the skin, allow to sit for a few minutes then rinse off with lukewarm water.
The technical bit: Lemon juice is not only a natural bleaching agent that helps to reduce discolouration, but it also contains AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) which chemically breaks down the protein ‘glue’ that causes dead skin cells to stick to the epidermis. The rather fabulous physical exfoliant bicarbonate of soda is non-abrasive and a much gentler alternative for those who dislike grainy scrubs – especially on the face.
The quick fixes
Cleansing wipes are perfect for removing pesky self-tan around tricky ankles, knees, wrists and hands. Read recommends leaving 2 or 3 wet wipes out to dry, then soaking them in lemon and lime juice, waiting 5 minutes, and finally, rubbing over the skin. Repeat the process until your tan has lightened.
Organic Surge Kiss & Make-Up Wipes are enriched with soothing chamomile and calming aloe vera, whilst St. Tropez Cleansing Wipes (and anything St Tropez in fact!) are loved by beauty doyenne Kate Moss – need we say any more?
The Tan Remover
St. Tropez Tan Remover can be used for up to four hours after faux glow application and is particularly good for tangoed palms. Multitasker TanOrganic Tan-Erase Ultimate Exfoliator not only buffs away dead skin cells prior to tanning, but can be wielded to help remove excess product post-tanning: sort of a peace-friendly bazooka for oompa-loompaness.
Now there’s nothing to stand in the way of you and a gorgeously golden glow – even if it does take a little tweaking to get it just right.