Mellow Mummy: My Secrets To A Great Holiday Tan : Taking life as it comes...

Wednesday 29 June 2011

My Secrets To A Great Holiday Tan

Last month I spent a week in the mellow sunshine of the Cote D'Azur and lapped up the spring sunshine (I know that's a bit depressing given the current weather conditions... but don't give up hope). I don't consider myself a sunseeker but I am definitely a sunshine person. Sunshine makes me happy (and makes my skin happy too). Half way through the trip my Mum asked me if I'd had a spray tan before the trip – err no , this is all me. I just seem to have got the hang of keeping my skin healthy while building up a nice mellow glow. I'm going to share my secrets for how I do it!

I know its a cliché but its true. If you exfoliate your skin before (and during) your holiday it will be much better prepared for the sun (so long as you moisturise along the way). I like to use a body scrub two or three times a week when I bath or shower and despite having tried one or two organic, natural alternatives I am still totally in love with the Clarins Smoothing Body Scrub with Bamboo which is by far the most effective I've tried.

Drink Lots of Water
Another cliché I'm afraid but it is one I swear by, especially on holiday. Drink loads and loads of water to keep your face and body well hydrated and if you're indulging in a little bit of the local tipple... drink MORE water to compensate.

soltan high spf sun lotion

Start With a High SPF, Then Work Down
I swear by suncream for a great tan. I love being out in the sun – it makes me mellow but I know that burning in the sun is not only bad for the skin in the short term, but can have lasting effects in the long term. A burnt skin is not a sexy look. I always start my holiday with about 24 hours of really high factor sun scream (factor 50+) and then work down. By the end of a two week holiday my body's own sun-protection has kicked in a little so I will have worked down to a lower factor (mind you, I still never go lower than factor 15). And, as the Boots advert says, it is important to choose a sun cream that also offers UVA protection as well.

Apply Regularly
Top your suncream up regularly throughout the day to keep your moisture levels high – sun lotion can be a very effective moisturiser in addition to the sun protection they offer. Regular top-ups also mean that you get the highest level of protection from the drying, ageing rays of the sun.

aloe vera moisturiser

When you're on holiday in the sun, don't let a single day go by without applying two tonnes of body lotion or moisturiser. Always end the day with a body lotion of some sort and don't hold back. You don't have to invest in an expensive aftersun lotion (although they are made to smell summery and leave you feeling cool they are often packed full of chemicals). A very simple but effective moisturiser will be fine – I'm currently in love with Eternal Skincare’s Aloe Super Hydrating Moisturiser which soothes the skin with aloe vera but is totally unscented and can be used all over the body. I like it because it is thick and feels like it is giving my skin a protective layer and unlike many aftersun creams it isn't packed full or water or parabens.

Add a little sparkle or a summery glow to a light tan with a bronzer. Don't use too much – just enough to add a little glow and really highlight your natural colour. I tend to use a mixture of a liquid facial or body bronzer (something along the lines of Estee Lauder's Daywear Sheer Tint Moisturiser which has SPF protection too) and a powdered bronzer which can add a hint of pink and a little sparkle. If people hadn't noticed your tan before, they will now.

Choose the Right Nail Varnish
You can make a light tan look several shades darker by wearing the right make up. The most effective trick is to choose the right colour of nail varnish on fingers and toes. A perfectly finished light french manicure (or a simple light pink) works really well but I currently swear by a deep Shimmering Bronze pure color nail varnish from Estee Lauder which makes me feel far more tanned than I really am.

Images courtesy of Estee Lauder (except Boots Soltan courtesy of Boots and Aloe Vera moisturiser by Eternal Skincare).
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