As the palest girl in the office, I have always been envious of the bronzed glow of many of my colleagues, and – quite honestly – I’ve grown tired of being ghostly white in appearance among them in group photos. For our latest Treatment on Trial feature, I decided to see just how dark I could go with a spray tan, turning to one of LiB’s most trusted tanning brands, St.Tropez, for professional assistance. St Tropez is a leading, award-winning brand among the tanning category, and with one St.Tropez spray tan performed every minute and one product sold every fifteen seconds, you can understand why it’s the leading brand elected globally by professionals, celebrities and beauty editors alike.
Do you love the idea of tanning, but are a novice in the field? We’re here to show you just what tan can be attained on the palest of skin tones…
Alike most beauty categories, with tanning there’s no one size fits all agenda. Depending on your skin tone and your desired effect, St.Tropez’s tanning wardrobe provides the perfect product, from a light sun-kissed glow to the deepest, darkest bronze. Having a tan can transform you into your most confident self, all year round. A St.Tropez spray tan is the perfect option for those looking for a natural-looking, streak-free tan. The salon-inspired formulations are paraben-free, easy to apply and are infused with the brand’s mood-boosting fragrance to avoid that infamous biscuity tan smell caused by the tanning agent DHA (dihydroxyacetone). This fragrance contains notes of bergamot and green apple to capture an invigorating holiday feeling and mask the usual displeasing scent.
With a spray tan, although you can go in aspiring to look the darkest shade available, it’s important to remember that the melanin technology tailors to your individual skin tone. The tanning agent targets more of the brown pigments in the skin, therefore if you’re extremely pale like I am (who doesn’t tan at all in the sun), even with the deepest tan on offer, it’s unlikely to take as strongly as you may be expecting. Like many self-tanners, the St.Tropez spray tan provides a guide colour so you can see where your tan has applied. Once developed for the recommended 4-8 hours (I left mine on over night) the guide colour will rinse off to reveal your tanned glow.
So, how long does it last?
Everyone’s skin naturally exfoliates at a different rate, but your tan will last anywhere between 4-7 days, with good preparation and maintenance this could be considerably longer. To ensure your tan looks great for as long as possible, we’d recommend using the St.Tropez Tan Enhancing Body Exfoliator to remove all your dead skin cells to provide an even surface to tan. Following application, it’s vital that you keep the skin hydrated with daily application of St.Tropez’s Tan Enhancing Moisturiser (which smells amazing FYI). For the perfect fade, ensure you exfoliate every 2-3 days.
St.Tropez spray tans vary in price depending on the salon you choose but expect to pay anywhere between £20-40 depending on your area.
Although a complete tanning novice, I have in fact tanned before. I have also previously had spray tans that have not turned out how I had hoped. Therefore, I knew what steps I needed to take pre-treatment to get the best out of my tan. The night before my appointment, I ensured I had exfoliated my skin adequately, using both a dry mitt and a body polish. It’s also worth noting that I had also shaved 24 hours prior, because let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than shaving too soon before tanning and looking like an overtly brown plucked chicken. On the day of your appointment, it’s good to remember to keep your skin free from moisturiser, deodorants and makeup.
What’s really pleasing to know before having a spray tan, is what happens in the salon, stays in the salon. There’s no need to feel nervous or embarrassed because – let’s be frank – your therapist has seen it all before. I will happily overshare the fact that I was conscious of my hairy belly, stretch marks, scars and wobbly bits, but there really was nothing to worry about. When you first arrive for your spray tan, you may be asked to fill in a few questions regarding your tanning and/or medical history and asked what effect you’re hoping to achieve from the tanning treatment. Before I went in, I knew I desired the darkest, deepest tan that St.Tropez had to offer, but your therapist will likely advise you the best tan for your skin tone and make you aware of the realistic expectations. You will also be offered disposable underwear, however you’re more than welcome to keep your own – just make sure they’re not your best pants, because they will definitely get covered in the remanence of your tan. Your therapist (mine was the amazing St.Tropez tanning expert, Jayne Cooper, who I can’t praise highly enough) will then give you some sticky feet because tanned soles isn’t the look we’re after. You’ll also be given a hair towel and a robe. Your therapist will then apply moisturiser to the typically dry areas (heels, wrists, knees) before commencing the spray tanning process. The spraying took around 15-20 minutes and I was asked to stand in a multitude of positions to ensure the tan was covering everywhere. There’s nothing worse than being exceptionally pale and realising you’ve missed a spot, because it’s then noticeably obvious. Thankfully for me, Jayne was an expert in her field and I need not worry about the usual fake tan faux pas like when I am left to my own tanning devices.
I am absolutely in love with my results and cannot express how much more confident having a tan makes me feel. Of course it looks great when it’s done well, but actually a tan can have a huge effect on how you feel mentally and physically, and it’s never less than positive for me. It’s just a shame it’s not leg season yet…
THE DEVELOPING PROCESS
Spray tans take 4-8 hours to develop so be careful not to get wet before the tan has had chance to fully develop. Typically, as I left the salon it started to rain (OF COURSE IT DID). This made me panic as each drop touched the calves of my legs and I began to look more and more like a cheetah. Luckily for me, the rain just affected the guide colour and when I washed my tan off in the morning, there were no rain marks to be seen – hoorah! I’d also always recommend wearing dark loose clothing after your tan in case any of it transfers.