Can a ginger get a tan?

87806640_oI am back, with a new article about the sun : if you have forgotten what it looks like, type in ‘sun’ in Google. If summer does not seem to want to start, at least not in Paris, some of you might be going away to less hostile lands…

What is summer to you and me? It is a beach filled with brown or black bodies (what do you mean I’m exaggerating?) and us in the middle, white as sheets. White as snow, as a ghost, as an aspirin tablet, white as an ass! Or, if you’ve been here for a while already, then you’ll be red as a lobster, which is not much more glamourous.

And on top of that, your freckles, usually shy the rest of the year, are now out and having a little party on your face. It’s not that complicated, with all your freckles multiplying at the speed of light, your face has now become ONE GIANT FRECKLE.

Why is life so unfair?

Because of the melanin protecting your skin from UV lights and which we are lacking. The tanning process is easy : it is an increase of brown and red melanin pigments in the skin cells, due to sun exposure. These pigments increase to protect the skin from UV lights by absorbing all the sun. For gingers, the brown pigments represent a very small quantity and red ones a very large quantity. Red ones filter UV lights less efficiently than the brown ones and so our skin is less protected.

Now that the science lesson is over, let’s take a look at the best ways for us to get a nice golden skin.

D-1 month : Start a dietary complements cure

If there is one tanning technique that actually works it is this one. I even call them “miracle capsules”. They are composed of vitamin E to prevent from cellular aging, of carotenoid to activate skin pigmentation, and of selenium to slow the skin aging process due to the sun. Believe me when I say it really works! A month before going on holiday, I take one or two a day and I keep taking them all through my week under the sun. Obviously I did not turn into Beyonce but I noticed some positive results: less sunburns, faster, more intense, and browner tan (yes because see, before that I just had a faster, more intense, REDDER tan).

My favorites? Oenobiol, 16.48 euros for one box of 30 capsuls. Otherwise there’s Doriance Solaire capsuls, 16 euros and Phytobronz, 11 euros, available at your local chemist.

gelules détourés

D- 3 : Become a pro self tanner

It seems like ages ago when self tanners turned us into giant carrots… Today, modern cosmetics offer varied textures, discreet perfumes and most importantly do not turn your skin orange. If you follow the step by step application process, there is no reason for it not to work. Here are my techniques to avoid ugly spots:

1) Epilate before!

2) Exfoliate your face and body so that you can get rid of dead cells and smoothen the skin.

3) Reduce skin callosity (elbows, knees, ankles)

4)  Apply your day care product before, result will be even more luminous

5) Protect the zones you do not want to color, like your eyebrows, nails and hair roots with lotion, or clean these zones with a wet tissue after the application.

6) Put the self tanner on during the day because the light will activate the product more rapidly and because if you do it at night your skin will rub onto the sheets and pillow.

7) Apply the tanner sparingly on your face and neck because that skin will darken easily. Start by applying it to the places where you naturally tan: your forehead, the apples of your cheeks, your chin, and the bridge of your nose. Using a steady circular motion, smooth the tanning lotion outward to cover the rest of your face as well.

8) Apply the product from your ankles to your thighs while massaging thoroughly the delicate zones like your knees and ankles.

9) Take the time to wash your hands thoroughly (even more around and under the nails) with soap right after the application.

10) Wait a whole day before having a shower and then wait 2 or 3 days between each application.

Don’t forget that the point is to get a natural result so that people around us will be surprised. So it is better to obtain progressive and controlled tan with few applications  spread over a few days rather than all at once.

WHAT A DISASTER, YOU BURNT! Despite all my wise advice you still managed to become a ginger zebra! What can you do? Well, first I’ll a have a go at you for having, deliberately, skipped one step of the process and then I’ll ask you to send me a photo of yourself, just to have a laugh. OR I’ll be nice and tell you to rub off these ugly stains with lemon (acid + vitamin C will do the trick), with nail polish remover (that’s actually not a really good idea), or to exfoliate 50 times a day with boiling water, or to just wait it out.

Which self tanner should you choose?

produits auobronzants détourés

My favorite, by far, is the Flash Bronzer without transfer (Hein??) from Lancome. At stated in the name, the self tanner does not “tranfer” which means you can wear white clothes and they will remain stainless. The gel tinted texture is easy to apply and the color you’ll obtain after the first application is ideal. 28,50 euros

L’Huile Somptueuse from Dior is so nice to apply thanks to its oily texture, more moisturizing. But a little pricy, 41 euros.

The Mousse éblouissante autobronzante teintée from L’Oréal Paris has a lighter less oily texture. But be careful, the color is quite intense after the first application. 12,90 euros.

The Terracotta Sunless de Guerlain is also great. Make sure you wash you rhands thoroughly after the application because the product is quite strong. Pricy but the color you get is beautiful and you’ll get a few weeks worth of applications from one bottle. 47 euros.

The Self-tanner from Yves-Rocher is my little favorite for days when I want an immediate tan on my legs. Tinted and a bit pearly, you can rinse it off with water and soap. 13,50 euros.

For my face I use Emulsion fondante from Nuxe that moisturizes my skin and leaves a light tan just the way I like it. Loses a few points for the strong smell of self tanner. 19,50 euros.

And last but not least, the Concentré teinté autobronzant from Clarins for its lovely jasmine smell. 24,50 euros

Finally, the self tanning showers in beauty institutes are also a good solution for the ones who want a quick, integral result all over their body and/or face.

Addresses : Concept Soleil, 45 rue de Provence / 44 rue Taitbout, 9e. Tél : 01 45 26 27 28, 19 euros ( et Sunso, has different addresses all over  Paris, 25 euros (

There you go my favorite gingers! You now have all the tips to show off a beautiful tan on the beach this summer. What are you waiting for?