The Pros and Cons of Fake Tan for Brides

Should you use fake tan on your wedding day? I get asked that question all the time. Well, fashionistas may question whether fake tan has had its day, but in my view the confidence boosting effects of a radiant looking skin are timeless. We all know from experience that it easy to make mistakes and that even A list celebrities still sport the oompah loompah look from time to time, we ve seen the pictures. For your wedding day, when you want to look at your most beautiful, you must be practised and prepared. So, if you re a fan of the tan, it as well to know something of the pros and cons of the various forms of self-tanning methods available.

Sun Beds

Pros Some people advocate the use of sunbeds because, used responsibly, they can minimise the risk of burning the skin whilst maximising tanning. If you do choose to use a sunbed to create your tan make sure that the salon follows the safety rules stipulated by The Sunbed Association.

Cons We all know of the link between over use of sunbeds and the rise of dangerous, potentially fatal, skin cancers. If sunbeds are used irresponsibly there is also a risk of permanent damage resulting to the eyes and premature aging of the skin.

Spray Tan

Pros A professional spray tanning session usually takes under half an hour and there is very little chance of areas of skin being missed or streaks appearing. This method quickly covers over any lighter areas left by previous tans and the amount of tan applied can be easily controlled.

Cons Compressed air is used in applying spray tan and this can be dangerous when used round the eye area. You obviously have to have someone else to assist you, in my view a fully trained professional, should apply the tan for you.

Tanning Creams and Lotions

Pros The cosmetic companies that produce these products are not only interested in providing you with an effective tan, they actively compete with each other to improve the texture of your skin through the use of vitamins, oils and moisturisers. Every skin type is catered for so there will definitely be a product out there that suits you. Have fun looking for the right one, but make sure that you find it way ahead of your wedding day!

Cons Many tanning creams and lotions emit a strong chemical smell when first applied. Blotchiness and unevenness can occur when applied incorrectly, particularly on older, freckled or scarred skin.

Foam Tan

Pros This type of tan also conditions and moisturises the skin, it easy to apply and quick to dry. It light and doesn t clog pores. Foam tan often comes in more than one shade, so you can choose the light, medium or deep shade to control the depth of your tan.

Cons As the foam is often light and white it is not clearly seen on the skin when being applied. It can be easy to forget exactly which areas the product has been applied to and this can result in missed areas, patching and forgetting to wash the product off the palms of your hands!

You need to prepare your skin properly before using self tanning products and practise with them way ahead of the wedding to ensure that everything goes smoothly, and most particularly your beautiful tan, on your big day.

Remember that you should:

Do a small patch test on your skin at least 24 hours before applying a product you are using for the first time

  • Never apply your tan immediately after a bath or a shower. You should give your pores time to close
  • Remove every trace of make-up, deodorant and perfume prior to applying the product
  • Exfoliate your skin before hand using a tried and tested method that you know will not irritate your skin
  • Moisturise the drier areas of your skin which are usually the knees, elbows and heels before tan application
  • Read the directions on the package carefully and don t be tempted to leave the product on your skin longer than stipulated, you don t want to turn orange!
  • Start applying the product from the feet and work upwards using small, circular movements, apply with feather strokes to the tops of the feet and between your toes. Don t rush the process
  • Make sure you apply the product to your ears and the back of your neck
  • Apply your tan two days before the wedding, so if there are any problems you will have time to correct them
  • On the morning of your wedding day wash all your body carefully, including around the ears and between the toes, with your chosen shower gel or perfumed soap. Thoroughly rinse your entire body and then pat dry, don t rub, using a soft white towel to ensure that your tan will not rub off on your wedding dress.

If you have a pale skin tone my advice is not to go for a deep tan effect on your wedding day, choose something light with a hint of shimmer. You should create a look of elegance and beauty, incorporating immaculate make up and perfectly styled hair, but one which allows the real you to shine through. This is the look that you want to be captured in your wedding photos and your tan should subtly complement this look, rather than overshadow it.

Here are some of my favourite self tanning products:

For Fair to Medium Skins – Dove Summer Glow

For Darker Skin shades – St Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Lotion

For the face – L’Oreal Sublime Bronze

To give your face a healthy glow, Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder