GROOMING By Belinda Morris
Chasing a tan
Have you got a handle on this British summer? No, me neither. A promising, unnaturally sticky-hot day, followed by a dull, overcast, boringly muggy one. If you’ve opted for a staycation this year and you’re approaching the task of taking on a tan with optimism… good for you and good luck. You may need a little help, from out of a bottle. And for those of you smugly looking forward to a late holiday in the sun… well, you’re going to need some help too (probably not much of a starter tan to top up) if you want to look good in shorts.
So here are a few products that I’d suggest checking out, all – bar one – from my current fave natural skincare brand, Dr Organic. They’re created using bioactive natural ingredients and are free from many of the harsher elements found in most products – like parabens, synthetic colours, SLSs etc. And they smell great – even the Moroccan Glow Self Tan Mousse (£14.99), which works in a gradual way, so there’s no instant, unnatural orange look. And thanks to the organic argan oil, it also glides on easily and leaves skin feel smooth and nourished.
Whether your tan is coming from a bottle or the sun, it’s always a good idea to prep the skin first, by exfoliating (which means your tan stands a chance of being more even). Dr Organic’s Moroccan Glow Body Polish (£8.99) removes dead skin cells with its natural microparticles of volcanic lava and you should make sure that you give your elbows, knees, ankles and feet an especially thorough scrub. And if that sounds all a bit harsh, the scrub contains enriching ingredients like argan oil, almond oil, aloe vera and various other natural oils and extracts, so it’s stuffed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids that your skin will thank you for. Ditto the Body Lotion (£11.99) with the same subtle, but faintly exotic smell, which will help extend the tan thanks to a plant-based ingredient that boosts a tan.
If you want a self tan that works reasonably quickly, but without harmful petrochemicals, try the certified natural Instant Bronzing Gel by Trilogy (£12.50). The colour is achieved by caramel from sugar cane, combined with a plant-derived DHA which works with your skin to develop a natural looking tan. You could use it once – before a night out maybe – for an instant glow, or over a few days for a bronzed tan that will last a little longer.
Remember though, that these self-tan products don’t contain sunscreens – if you’re going to be in the sun, you’ll need an SPF product for protection.
Finally, when you return from a holiday with your hard-won tan, but skin feeling a tad parched, I can thoroughly recommend Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Monoi Moisture Melt (£xx). Solid at room temperature, if you submerge the unopened bottle in warm water it liquefies and you can pour it onto (damp) skin. Gorgeous – particularly if you like the smell of coconut. Holiday in a bottle.
Dr Organic from Holland & Barrett, nationwide and Trilogy from Debenhams.