By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]
How many times have you been told how great you look when you come back off your summer holiday with a tan?
For generations a bronzed face and body have epitomised youth, health and good living and ever since Coco Chanel returned from her Mediterranean holiday all brown and beautiful in the 1920s, we have all been working on our tans.
However, there is no such thing as a “healthy tan” and as awareness has grown surrounding the dangers of UV rays, legions of women, and a growing number of men, have been looking for answers to this beauty conundrum.
We all know that exposing our skin to the sun without adequate UV protection has devastating effects, from speeding up the appearance of age spots and wrinkles to more serious long term health issues and cancer, so the only truly healthy way to have a tan is to fake it!
I remember as a teenager attempting to create that bronzed look with a tube of fake tan and a willing assistant in one of my best friends ,and as you can imagine the results were a stained bathroom carpet, bright orange streaks down my legs and a generally unflattering Umpa Lumpa look.
It always seemed far easier to go on holiday for a week and follow a tanning regime of burn-peel-brown to get the summer look that I was going for.
However, with skincare and general health becoming increasingly more important to me as the years go by, I thought it was about time that I took a look at the alternatives again and I was pleasantly surprised.
With self tanners, the sky is the limit when it comes to prices but a reasonably priced product on the market which offers real results is the L´Oreal Sublime Glow for the Body which applied over a couple of days creates a gentle tan that grows darker as time progresses.
For those with a little more to spend, the Clarins Radiance Plus Self Tanning Cream gives great results without that chemical self tan smell, a dead giveaway when it comes to faking it!
Makeup ranges such as those from US cosmetics company Prestige Cosmetics offer users a choice of bronzing powders for a complete sun kissed look without having to spend a second in the sun. While Guerlain have created solutions for men and women with their Terracotta range of bronzing powders with an ultra matt bronzer for men and a luminous and sensual powder for women.
While it is possible to fake that perfect summer glow, it is impossible to avoid the sun completely when in the Algarve and dodging from one patch of shade to another doesn’t make for a fuss free summer.
There are hundreds of different sun protection lotions, creams, gels and on the market that have been formulated especially to protect you from the harmful UV rays of the sun, and with UV ratings in the Algarve during August reaching levels nine and 10 most days in August, now is the time to seek out some of the best products on the market.
For luxurious skin protection, the Skin Defender Urban Protection Emulsion from Comfort Zone works as a triple defence system against UVA and UV rays, pollution and oxidative damage while leaving your skin hydrated and moisturised.
Those looking for complete cover should take a look at products from Mustela. Although essentially designed for children, these hypoallergenic, high factor sun creams are perfect for all the family and come in a selection of high factors.
Meanwhile, many products are able to combine self tanning with sun protection, including lotions and spray oils available from the Piz Buin Tan Intensifier range which claims to help you appear as tanned in one week as you would usually in two.
With so many new ways to get a tan there is no need to spend hours basting yourself by the pool or on the beach anymore which will leave you with far more time this summer to enjoy everything else the Algarve has to offer.