Mind you - I am NOT talking about sunbathing or laying on the tanning beds! Of course I avoid doing that because I don't want to have premature ageing, nor cancer, but also because I have sun allergy. For me, sun means high SPF and staying home from noon to 4PM!
The only thing left for me, apart from staying ghostly pale, which I don't always enjoy, is fake tan! And I must tell you that over the years, I have tried practically everything on the market, from drugstore to high-end. Only last year I think I bought 7 different products - mousse, cream, gel, spray, progressive, dark... You name it, I tried them all.
And then I found the Holy Grail of fake tans, which I have repurchased recently and am starting using now. And that is Xen-Tan.
What products do I use?
I get 2 different products, the Dark Lotion for the body, and the Face Transform for my face. You should never use a body formulation on your face as it's too rich and could break you out.
Why do I like these better than any other?
For many many reasons!
- the color you get is olive-toned, hence very natural and not orange at all
- there's an instant color in the Dark Lotion that allows you to see where you place it; this goes away when you shower but gives your skin some nice warmth while you're waiting for the fake tan to develop (which takes about 4 hours)
- it dries quickly, no need to walk around the house naked for half an hour
- IT SMELLS GOOD! Yes ladies, the body product smells like marzipan and the face one like pineapple or some sweet sugary thing
- the face product is full of vitamins and good stuff for the skin
- it's pretty much fool proof and if you apply well, you won't get any streaks or patches
How often do I apply?
The face product is translucent and I use it every other day instead of night cream. It dries quickly so I don't really have to wait before going to bed and I never woke up with pillow streaks on my tan :)
The body product I usually apply 2 days in a row, apply again after 3-4 days, then after another 3 days I would exfoliate and start the cycle again.
You can build more layers for more color, though, and apply twice a day for 2-3 days for example.
How do I successfully apply it?
After failing at it for years, I finally managed to apply the right way, and Xen-Tan makes it very easy.
For the face, just use the product as if you were applying a face cream, but make sure you blend it into your hairline, on your ears, on your jawline and in your neck. I usually put my hair in a pony-tail and use the face product down to the base of my neck, including on the back.
For the body, you actually need very little product! A nutsize blob is enough for a whole leg! But then you need to blend well, moving vertically in strips, adding a bit of product when starting a new strip. Do the articulations (knees, ankles, elbows...) LAST with what's left on your hands, this way you won't get dark patches where your skin is thicker.
Wash your hands very well with warm water and bar soap, for a couple of minutes.
If you need to apply product on the back of your hands and wrists, do it after washing hands, using a cotton pad and a tiny bit of product.
And voilà: you're tanned.
Where do I get it and is it expensive?
I get the products online, it's available on several e-retailers sites like Beautybay.com or Hqhair.com but you can also get them from the Xen-Tan website (there is a US and a UK website).
On those sites, the face product is about £12/$19 and the dark lotion is about £20/$39.
Both products will last you several months, and if like me you just enjoy fake-tanning for Summer, you'll probably buy just once for the year.
As far as I am concerned, this is the best product on the market, certainly not the most expensive one although it's not cheap, and I love the results.