Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Trial and error throughout our teenage years up until adulthood help us understand what accentuates our features and suits our skin type, and what we should avoid at all costs. We probably all have the hair-prickling memories of our beauty hacks back when we were younger – yes, some of us used to use concealer sticks as lipstick and set our makeup with hairspray. Ouch!

Fake tan is a beauty product that has always been popular and continues to grow with brands offering more innovative products. As we descend into the winter months, we’re looking for alternative ways of keeping bronzed and glowing. This combined with rising concerns about skin health and the increasing demand in skincare means more of us are wanting to be bronzed gods and goddesses. Particularly with being locked indoors looking back at the reflection that is now mostly makeup-free and au naturel, we need low maintenance ways to look good effortlessly.

We’ve decided to bust myths around fake tan, answering the most-searched queries online by comparing October 2019 and October 2020 to resolve the fake tan faux pas that are on our minds. We’ve created the ultimate myth-busting article providing the best tips and tricks. For the fake tan veterans and newbies, read on for the perfect glow.

Fake tan that doesn’t stain sheets

“Fake tan that doesn’t stain sheets” grew 600 per cent in searches.

There are some tans out there that will give your bed sheets a glow as bright as your skin, which isn’t ideal. We want our tans to be as discreet and natural-appearing as they would if they were natural, especially if we’re sharing beds with our partners or friends! Tanning colour does wash out of sheets usually, however, we don’t want clean-looking sheets for a few days before they look stained and dirty.

Tanning brand Tanologist offers a range of tanning products that don’t have a colour guide, meaning it is clear when you apply it to your body. No colour guide means no blocked pores if you’ve shaved before tanning, no drying effect on the skin, and no tan-transfer onto bedding or clothing.

My fake tan is green, can I still use it?

“My fake tan is green can I still use it?” increased 600 per cent in searches.

Ever picked up your bottle of fake tan only to find it looks green on your tanning mitt? No, that isn’t your eyes playing tricks on you – this can happen if it is out of date or isn’t stored properly. This is called oxidisation. Remember that guide colour we discussed above; the brown colour that appears instantly on your skin upon applying? This bronze guide colour is made up of three colours – red, yellow, and blue – and when the red colour oxidises, blue and yellow are left together to green.

The only thing turning green is the bronzer, which is a temporary colour, but we don’t recommend using if its green. Fake tan reacts with the amino acids in the dead layer of your skin to turn you a temporary bronzed colour. If the tan is exposed to oxygen or too much heat, the guide colour can turn green.

Unless you’re going as Shrek for Halloween, you’re probably going to want to throw it in the bin and buy a new bottle. To avoid this, store your tan in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.

Does fake tan cause spots?

“Does fake tan cause spots?” rose 300 per cent in searches.

When we’re bronzed, we want our face to match our body, so we apply tanning product to our faces. However, some fake tanning products contain harsh chemicals which can irritate and dry out our skin. When our skin is dry, it overproduces oil – sebum – which causes breakouts. Pores are blocked and our skin can become spotty. This can be difficult for people who have acne.

Self-tanning drops are the ideal solution as opposed to applying heavy tanning mousse to your face, which can also cling to dry patches of skin and look uneven and darker in some areas. Designed to be mixed with skincare and applied to the skin, the number of drops you apply customises how dark your tan is while minimising the chance of breakouts and nourishing the skin.

Fake tan and hot tubs

“Fake tan and hot tubs” increased 100 per cent in searches.

Are you going to rent a hot tub to ease the lockdown blues or are you planning a staycation at a log cabin with a hot tub the minute lockdown restrictions are eased? If you answer yes to either of these, you should know that your fake tan will fade in the tub. Not only will you be stripped of your colour, but you could damage the tub and be left with a cleaning bill!

How long does fake tan last?

“How long does fake tan last” grew 50 per cent in searches.

The amount of time your fake tan will last depends on the prep beforehand. If you moisturise your skin building up to the application, exfoliate your whole body 24 hours before, and moisturise every day after, your tan could last between seven and 10 days. Avoid showering in really hot water so your colour isn’t stripped. Everyone’s skin cycle is different, however, but as long as you keep moisturised, you should be able to maintain it as long as your body allows you.

Fake tan and tattoos

“Fake tan and tattoos” searches increased 40 per cent.

You can absolutely fake tan on top of tattoos. If your tattoo is new and in the process of healing, however, you will want to wait two weeks to a month applying self-tan over the tattoo. This will allow it to fully heal while reducing the chance of developing an infection.

Can fake tan damage your skin?

“Can fake tan damage your skin” searches increased 33 per cent.

Fake tanning is a safe alternative to being bronze without going on the sunbeds or lying on the beach for hours and risking developing skin cancer – fake tan removes that risk altogether, as well as helping avoid wrinkles from sun-damaged skin. Unless if you inhale or digest the tan, you won’t be damaging your skin.

DHA, dihydroxyacetone, is the ingredient that darkens the skin by reacting with amino acids in the outer dead layer of skin. Unlike sunbathing, there’s no direct evidence DHA increases the risk of cancer.

Self-tanning can be a great alternative to using sunbeds. With all the right knowledge, you can be a bronzed goddess all year round, even in winter!

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