Exactly How a Beauty Editor Who's Too Lazy to Fake Tan Gets Glowy Summer Skin

emily algar tanning hacksemily algar tanning hacks

There’s a common belief that beauty editors have the most comprehensive beauty routines, ever.

This is partly true, but I can also attest to the fact that we can be an unbelievably lazy bunch. (An old editor of mine used to pour olive oil into her bath at night so she didn’t have to bother with moisturiser – genius, if you ask me.)

Personally, the laziness is especially true when it comes to self tan. I've never been a religious Thursday night tanner, or any night for that matter. 

I think it comes down to a few reasons: One is that I'm a bit lazy with application. And I have white bed sheets and live in fear I’ll leave a me-shaped bronze impression on them. I also swim often and practice hot yoga every second day (i.e. profuse sweating), making tan maintenance and upkeep particularly difficult. 

With that being said, however, I'm a fan of glowy, bronzed skin, so trust me when I say I’ve done the research and found easy-to-use products that give natural-looking colour, without the fussiness of traditional tan formulas. 

Want in? Of course you do! Find my four summer skin tanning hacks below. 

Hack 1: The Best Face Fake Tan You Can’t Stuff Up.

eco tan face tan watereco tan face tan water

Props to the folk at Eco Tan for creating what I would consider one of the greatest facial tanners of all time: Eco Tan Organic Face Tan Water

It’s less intense than a traditional tanner, but the glow and depth of colour is still remarkable. And the best part? Application is literally a breeze. All you need to do is use your hands or a brush to evenly cover the face, neck and décolletage. Just follow up with your regular non-active skin care as using a product with exfoliating ingredients like acids and vitamin A will slough off the tan. 

This product won’t clog your pores either, which is a huge plus in my books. Expect a face that says “I-just-spent-a-week-in-Ibiza” without the plane ticket. 

Here's a little before and after - the results are subtle, but noticeably glowy, no?

eco tan face tan water before and aftereco tan face tan water before and after

Hack 2: A DHA Free Self Tanner.

What is DHA, you ask? Tan-oholics will know DHA (or dihydroxyacetone) as the active ingredient in tanning products that gives your skin colour. And leaves behind that familiar tan scent that, depending on who you ask, smells like biscuits... or your cat's kitty litter.

If you're not a fan, Deciem-owned The Chemistry Brand actually offers a gradual DHA-free self tanning alternative called Glow "Oil".

the chemistry brand glow oilthe chemistry brand glow oil

The Chemistry Brand Glow Oil 100ml serves up an immediate sheen thanks to what they call “invisible” golden prisms (think of them as fancy glitter particles) and a lasting glow from raspberry sugar-ketos. Sounds weird, I know, but it works a treat. 

And because there’s no DHA in the formula, I find the chance of transfer onto fresh white towels is way less. Try it if you’re heading out somewhere fancy or want to take the edge off winter pallor. You simply rub over limbs and allow half a minute for it to sink in. 

Here's a look at the finish - bronzed and shimmery, but not sticky like some instant bronzing products.

the chemistry brand glow oilthe chemistry brand glow oil

Hack 3: The Best Tanning Drops, Ever.

Some people say electricity is the world’s greatest invention, but I beg to differ. Tanning drops are! They're self tan for lazy people!

You quite literally add a few drops to your face or body moisturiser before bed and voila! You’re bronzed eight hours later. 

I like to add tanning drops to my moisturiser post-shower three nights a week, adding more or less drops into my moisturiser depending on my desired colour (more drops = a deeper tan). 

Lately, I've been using the Tuscan Tan Tanning Drops 50ml and they’re faultless. You can use them on your face or body (or both), just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after because it is still a tanning product and will leave you with orange palms if you forget.

tuscan tan tanning dropstuscan tan tanning drops

Hack 4: Remember Bronzer?

It’s possibly the oldest trick in the book, but it would be remiss of me to not include the humble bronzer as a fool-proof tanning alternative. 

When all else fails, a light dusting of bronzer across the temples, hairline, bridge of the nose and collarbone is all I need to go from blah to beauty editor. If I’m wearing a shorter dress, I’ll take it down my shins, too. 

The key to a natural, 'I just got back from a beach holiday' effect is choosing a bronzer without shimmer. M.A.C Cosmetics Bronzing Powder in the shade Matte Bronze has a soft matte finish, so it's perfect to use all over. 

There you have it! A lazy human's guide to tanning, without actually tanning.

If you're after more brilliant beginners self tanning tips, check out Hannah's fake tan tutorial YouTube video below!