Now that the sun is shining, we wouldn't blame you for wanting to get bronzed. But reaching for a bottle of the fake stuff is always key. Jules Von Hep, tanning expert and founder of Isle of Paradise says, 'Having a tan is like having an injection of confidence. Limbs look leaner and a sun-kissed glow makes everyone look healthier. Tanning can be daunting for novices, but there is no need to be reluctant with a gradual tan.'
What Is Gradual Tan?
Somewhere between a moisturiser and fake tan, gradual tanning products are designed to create a soft, natural glow that can be built up every day. Fake tan, in comparison, creates instant results that are often more noticeable than gradual tan.
How Long Does Gradual Tan Take To Develop?
According to tanning pro and founder of her eponymous range Amanda Harrington, gradual tan will take two to three days to develop for a sun-kissed finish. 'The beauty of gradual tan is its ability to be topped up every few days to keep up a consistent colour.'
How Should You Apply Gradual Tan?
'Always exfoliate and moisturise before tanning, but not right before give your moisturiser time to sink into skin before applying your tan, otherwise it will just sit on the surface.'
'Apply a heavy-duty moisturiser or a little Vaseline on areas like the inside of your arms, elbows, knees and ankles that are susceptible to a build-up of colour and are usually the problem spots for at-home tanning.'
And finally, don't forget to use a mitt to apply your gradual tanner or wash your hands well after application nothing says This colour's from a bottle!' like tell-tale orange palms
Does Gradual Tan Wash Off?
There's no need to worry about your golden glow disappearing after a shower or dip in the pool, as long as you've left it on at least 4-8 hours before. We recommend applying after a shower so the product has a good amount of time to sink in and work its magic before you wash again. If you're on holiday and in and out the pool or sea it is probably best to apply in the evening or before bedtime. To keep up a solid tan you can use your gradual tanning moisturiser on a daily basis.
Does Gradual Tan Go Patchy?
Because gradual tanner contains DHA (the tanning agent) it can rub off and stain clothes or sheets. However, thanks to the lower concentration in gradual tanner versus classic fake tan, the stains and patches are less severe.
'To avoid patches and stains use a mitt during application and let the gradual tan sink into the skin fully before putting on clothes or getting into bed - this should only take 10 minutes or so', advises Heptonstall.
Can You Use Gradual Tan On Your Face?
Gradual tanners can be used all over including your face, however, you might want to consider using a gradual tanner designed specifically for the face. These tend to come with added skincare benefits tailored specifically for the skin on our face like hyaluronic acid and vitamins.
Can You Tan Through Gradual Tan?
Yes, you can. Gradual tanners have no SPF protection (unless otherwise specified) which means your skin is fully exposed to the sun. It is therefore crucial to wear a full spectrum SPF suncream on top of the gradual tanner if you're planning on going outside.
Can You Use Gradual Tan When Pregnant?
There is no evidence to suggest DHA is unsafe for pregnant women. However, it is worth noting that sometimes during pregnancy some women find that their skin can become more sensitive as a result of hormones. It's therefore a good idea to patch test any gradual tanner you plan to use a few days before.