How to look more sun-tanned than you really are

I'm going to be blunt: a sun tan is basically just skin damage. When subjected to UV, your skin produces melanin to compensate for the exposure and to protect against further damage. It's the melanin which makes usually fair skin look tanned.

I won't bore you with the details, but you can read more about it on (My neighbour had a type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma, and by the time he was in his 90s, it was like his flesh was rotting whilst he was still alive. Just saying.) It's strange to me that we've come to see literal skin damage as aesthetically appealing (especially strange when you consider racists have discriminated against people whose skin is ordinarily richly pigmented with melanin, yet a tan on fair people is desirable?) Nonetheless, a visible tan is a standard for beauty in and of itself, and is generally admired. Not only is it a sign of having recently been on a presumably luxurious holiday, it's just generally held that being sun-tanned is beautiful. (Does anybody else remember when Kelly Hoppen remarked on Dragons Den that 'a tan make you look skinnier', with such exuberance?  That it, "makes you look better for sure". The way she says it - emphasising what an incredible thing it is to look skinny - always made me feel so uncomfortable. Here's the clip. I won't even get into the fact a whole brand has been founded on being able to look skinnier by mimicking the appearance of sun damage. I have totally digressed here, I'm sorry.) 

My point is, having a sun tan is something a lot of people want because it's considered "beautiful" - and I don't disagree, a warm glow to the skin is very flattering - but it can be achieved quite easily, and without risking unsightly skin damage or even skin cancer. 

Fake it 'til you make it...
Applying fake tan is an obvious one. But it is genuinely better to self tan once or twice a week - as arduous as it may seem, given the whole process of shaving/moisturising/tanning/rinsing etc - rather than actually subjecting your skin to harmful rays in order to make your skin look darker.
Leighton Denny Boutique stocks a whole host of tanning products to shape your UV-free home tanning routine. You could prep your skin with the Sunbelievable Cream Me Body Moisturiser^ to soften the skin for a perfect 'blank canvas' for fake tan, then apply the Self Tan Mousse^ to create the appearance of a sun tan. The mousse formula is fragrance free, fast acting, quick drying and available in different intensities of tan, so you can tailor your bronze. 

Grab your bronzer... 
Speaking of bronze, I think the best tool in your fake tanning arsenal is actually your bronzer. With a choice of finishes - matte, satin, shimmery - and the choice between powder, cream and liquid formulas, I certainly think it's the most versatile. You can opt for a cream or liquid formula for a more natural 'lit from within' glow, or use a matte bronzer for a rich, sculpted sun tan. Or layer a shimmery powder bronzer over a matte finish cream for an intense sculpted-but-sun kissed look. They don't necessarily have to be applied just to your face either, but can be applied to your chest, arms and even legs. (Most bronzers come in pans big enough that I think this is very do-able!)
My cream/liquid favourites are Nars Laguna Liquid Bronzer (neutral tone, matte finish) YSL Blur Bronzer (luminous finish.) (Benefit Dew the Hoola Liquid Bronzer has since been discontinued and I didn't realise how old it was when I included it in the pictures. It's in the bin now...whoops!) As for powder bronzers, I love Bobbi Brown's Bronzer Powder (subtle warmth, soft matte finish) Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion (technically matte but is more of a satin finish) and Becca Cosmetics Sunlit Bronzer (satin, sheeny finish.) There's lots of brilliant bronzers out there! 

Find the right facial oil... 
A facial oil will give you a fresh looking glow anyway, but find a facial oil that has an orange tint. I don't think this will be advertised because as far as I'm aware it's not a thing, but there are some out there. The stark hue is scary to look at, but don't worry, you won't look like an oompa loompa. I promise! Rather, it gives your skin a warmth and a sun kissed glow. Not sweaty, but healthy and radiant.

Not to mention the skincare benefits of a facial oil. I know they're not for everybody, but I love them. Especially the Bybi Buriti Booster Oil, which contains antioxidants to protect against day-to-day pollutants; it's fast absorbing so doesn't feel greasy, and the orange colour does make my skin look instantly brighter, picking up on the subtle warmth in my skin tone as if I had a sun tan. Fushi's Seabuckthorn Oil* similarly has an orange hue: it's a richer oil which is naturally very pigmented due to it's carotenoid content, so the colour will last longer (and, indeed, will need to be rinsed off) so is perfect to achieve a a subtler 'fake tan'. 

This post was genuinely well intended and meant to be promoting ways to achieve a glow without the risk of UV. I know I totally went on a tangent, but I am very wary of the dangers of UV rays and am truly perplexed how it came to be that we, as a society, think the appearance of skin damage is beautiful and "makes you look better for sure"? But the fact remains that having a tan forms part of our Western beauty standards, so I'm not bashing anybody who likes their sun tan - I acknowledge that having a glow is flattering -  but I am imploring you to achieve it cosmetically rather than actually damaging your skin. 

Anyway, hope you enjoyed these tips to look like you have a sun tan. Avoid the sun and thanks for reading!

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Disclaimer: links may be affiliate links and PR samples will be marked with *. Items marked with ^ are products I have received previously in PR, but this particular product was purchased by myself.    

1 comment

  1. Keeping your skin protected from the sun is so important! There are so many alternatives to the real thing that are far safer. Great roundup xx