Our skin has turned a little grayer as the colder months have taken every ounce of warmth off it. The answer is simple for some people. Grab a self-tanner bottle. But…Stop! It’s winter. Nobody will believe you if you show up at work Monday morning with a darker tan than you had from your week in the Balearics, especially since all of your coworkers saw you snapping from the couch all weekend.
Winter tanning doesn’t need to be difficult. Jules Von Hep, Tan-Luxe Global Tan Director, shared his brilliant tips with us.
Continue scrolling to learn seven simple rules to get winter tan.
- It is important to exfoliate
Von Hep says that exfoliating your body is important regardless of season. It can make a big difference in the final color. You may feel like you are doing your winter skin a favor by using a nourishing oil-based scrub. However, oils can repel the tan formula. You should instead opt for a gel-based scrub like Aesop Redemption Body Scrub ($37) and exfoliating gloves like Soap and Glory Super Exfoliating Scrub Gloves ($13).
- Avoid Alcohol
Von Hep says that it is important to avoid alcohol and parabens in self-tan products. These can dry out the skin and cause a tan break down quicker, cracking and becoming scaly. Tan Luxe’s The Body Illuminating self-tan drops are his favorite, as they work well with any body lotion. Add the drops to a small amount of cream, and then apply it as you would regular lotion. You can add more drops to get darker tan. If you have olive-toned skin, two drops is enough.
We’re not talking about drinks. While we all enjoy a glass or two of red wine while we wait for our tan develops, Von Hep says it may not be a good idea. He explains that alcohol can dehydrate the skin, which will cause the tan to fade earlier than it has developed.
Our recommendation – Tan-Luxe Body Illuminating Self Tanning Drops ($59)
- It’s time to dial it down
You may have your summer tanning routine down, but you should ease up as winter approaches. Von Hep recommends only one coat of tanning, rather than two. He says, “It will just give skin a touch of color and a boost in warmth.” “One coat of self-tanner will just even out your complexion. It will reduce the blue/gray hues in pale to olive skin tones and remove the slight ashy tones that can sometimes appear in darker skin tones.”
- Pay attention to your hands
Von Hep explains that winter is dryer for skin because of central heating and the switch from hot to cold climates to red wine season. “This can lead to our palms and knuckles absorbing more self-tanner in winter than in summer.” It is easy for hands to become streaky. However, a hand scrub such as Margaret Dabbs Exfoliating Scrub ($19), and an alcohol-free cream can help.
- Carefully target tan
Although winter clothes don’t showcase our whole bodies, there are pieces that, from cold-shoulder knits and midi-length skirts that can show some skin, which you may want to share some love. Von Hep loves the patchwork tanning method, but he recommends planning ahead to make it work.
“If you are applying self-tan to dry areas like your hands, elbows and knees, make sure you apply moisturizer before you start to apply the self-tan. Also, add lip balm to your nails and cuticles to avoid excess self-tan absorbsion. These dark streaks can be a sign that you have an at-home job.
Von Hep’s best advice is: “If your goal is to tan for ripped jeans, tan your entire legs front and back. Plans change and you never know when your legs will come out.” Do not tan just the front of your legs to make a pair of jeans. Trust me.”
- Take care when approaching the face
Self-tanners can bring a little warmth back to our faces in winter. Von Hep says that self-tanning can reduce the appearance of fatigue, redness, puffiness and puffiness. It can also make your eyes appear brighter and whiter. However, miraculously acquiring a bronze type worthy of two weeks in Mexico overnight doesn’t fool anyone at this time of the year. You have to make it look real.
To ensure that your skin is smooth and even-toned, Von Hep suggests using an exfoliating face mask like Fresh’s Umbrian Clay Matting Face Exfoliant ($60) or Beauty Pie’s Plantastic Micropeeling SUPER Drops ($60). A light moisturizer should be applied to the hairline and eyebrows if you have fair hair. Make sure to brush your teeth after applying the moisturizer so that there are no splotches.
One more recommendation – Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Facial Exfoliant ($33)
Tan-Luxe’s $50 Sleep Oil is a good option too. It will nourish and color the skin, so you can apply it in circular motions. Von Hep suggests next using a dry BeautyBlender sponge ($20), or a dry face cloth. This is essential if you want the product to look natural. Press the sponge into the skin, neck, and along the hairline.
- Tanning is possible even if it’s too late
If you’re not able to respond to the invitations that arrive in your inbox immediately, you can still give your body a glow if you wish. Skin-finishing is essentially makeup for the skin. You’ll need instant products that have built-in bronze or golden pigments to give your skin some lift, regardless of skin tone.
Van Hep claims that he applies a body bronze oil to the skin of models when he shoots photos. This gives them a sun-kissed glow. He says, “Sweep the skin in long vertical movements to give the skin a pick-up in an instant.” Patrick Ta Major Glow Body Oil is a great choice. This shimmering bronze oil is rich in antioxidants and moisturizes while giving you a healthy, glowing glow.
To give the illusion of longer legs, you can also use a small amount of liquid highlighter to sweep down the middle of the limbs. Von Hep warns that you should not touch your knees.
Product recommendation – Patrick Ta Major Glow Oil $52