Self Tanning Confessions

As a child, teen and young adult (up until 5 years ago) I danced; I had unrealistic dreams of making it my profession. As a "dancer" I entered several competitions and of course did show cases and auditions all of which seemed to go hand in hand with a tan. There was a while I abused the tanning beds, being naturally olive skinned I assumed the damage would be minimum and also thought next to nothing about baking in the sun. I soon saw sense and went back to self tanning. Yep I said back as one of my earliest dance based memories is being wiped down with a tanning wipe, and being told to stand still so it did not streak. Bizarre I guess but very much the norm within the dance community (non ballet for those who are wondering).

For the record my Mother is naturally very pale as is my Grandmother, neither could give two hoots about a tan; they burn and would rather be a milky white hue than in pain and see self tanning as a faff. If anything they encourage me to rock my natural light yellow complexion yet it is very unlikely that you will see me without some form of tanning product on my body. It's a confidence issue; I don't feel "right" without a slick of bronze, I feel the same way about mascara. I hasten to add that I don't equate bronzed skin as the epitome of beauty, as cheesy as it may sound I truly believe that everyone is beautiful in their own way - pale, dark, bronze and all that is in-between. I just happen to enjoy wearing self tan - it really is as simple as that.

Fortunately as the years have passed I have side stepped the deep, veering on orange tanning products in favour of a light, barely noticeable tanning regime which I like to think I do have down to a fine art. It has not all been plain sailing - stained palms, streaks, out right ridiculous shades of orange - been there and most likely stained the t-shirt in the process. Don't ask me how I know but chlorine in a pool will remove self tan, some may say a little too quickly. Stained your palms with instant tan? Toothpaste will remove that? Want to fade a patchy self tan? A scrub consisting of Lemon juice and either salt or sugar is your best bet.

As silly as it may seem I pride myself on being able to recommend a self tanner to just about anyone, there are very few brands or regime that I have not tried along the way. My preferred method is a mousse (more often than not St.Tropez, the green undertone suits my complexion) as it dries quickly, to apply I use both rubber gloves and then a tanning mitt to prevent staining. I always get a family member to do my back and I tan the back of my hands using a facial tanning mist (normally Garnier Ambre Solaire Bronzer Self-Tan Face Mist). For the record I loathe spray tans, it is the indignity of having to strip down in front of a perfect stranger (in paper knickers no less) and having to leave the comfort of my home. At home I can self tan whenever and however I like - no judgement or paper underwear involved.

I'm also a huge fan of instant tanners as you can wash them off should you hate the colour or only want a super temporary fix of bronze. I have yet to find anything better than He-Shi One Day Tan - the colour is beyond natural, easy to apply and builds up with ease should you want a depper glow. If you do choose to tan naturally be it on holiday or in your back garden, this is the product that you want to disguise tan lines. You can thank me later and at just under £10 it is not all that dissimilar in price to Rimmel SunShimmer but far superior.

I do worry (not enough to stop me from using it) a little that perhaps one day we will find out that self tanning is the cause of something untoward, after all it was only a few decades ago that smoking was considered the norm and health implications were not openly discussed. For those wondering self tanners contain DHA (dihydroxyacetone) which is a colour additive that darkens the skin by interacting with the amino acids found in the outermost layer of your skin. Unlike tanning beds and sun bathing self tanner has been deemed safe by medical professionals and scientists alike - which is good enough for me. I should add that almost no self tanner contains SPF so you should always protect you skin when in the sun.

So yes my name is Adrienne and I'm a self tanning addict, where do you stand?
Are you a fan of the faux glow, have you grown out of bronzing or is it something a process that has never appealed?