With warm weather looming and the summer wardrobe beckoning, here are some tips on using fake tan when you have sensitive skin.

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How Does Fake Tan Work?

Firstly, let’s take a minute to look at how the self tanning process works. Nowadays, self tanners consist of sophisticated formulas, but the principal ingredient found in almost all commercial tanning products is Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. Depending on the level of DHA, the product applied on to the skin will react with oxygen in the air, as well as the amino acids on the skin’s surface, and lead to a colour change creating anything from a soft glow to a deep tan effect. Since it is only the top layer of skin that goes through this process, a fake tan will usually fade or begin to go patchy as dead skin cells start to fall off.

Which Self Tanner Should You Use?

With such an array of products on the market offering you a natural-looking tan, you won’t find it hard it hard to pick one to try, however note that prices range significantly. It is worth spending that little bit more on a recognised and trusted brand, especially if you suffer from skin reactions. Vichy, for example, is known for its thermal spa water-based products, while Bare Minerals is free from artificial oils and parabens.

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How to Apply Fake Tan if You Have Sensitive Skin?

Experts recommend that you exfoliate and moisturise the area which you intend to tan before applying your tanning product, regardless of whether the formula contains moisturising properties or not. This enables the tan to develop evenly and prevents streaks and patches from formulating on your skin as the DHA darkens. Try a product designed for sensitive skin, like those in the Avene Sensitive Skin Gift Set (http://www.lifeandlooks.com/avene-sensitive-skin-gift-set.html). If you suffer from skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, you should make sure that you wait a couple of weeks after treating an outbreak before self tanning.

All skin types can display varying reactions to any products, even if they are designed for sensitive skin, whether it be down to their perfume or something inside the lotion, spray or mousse. It is therefore best to do a small patch test before covering a larger area with the product.