Have you ever dabbled in fake tan before? We chat with expert James Harknett to discover the benefits of faking it this summer.
With the likes of David Gandy and Oliver Cheshire already opting for the fake-tan glow, celebrity tanner James Harknett talks to us about all things fake tan for men and its benefits over suntanning and the accompanying skin damage. Here’s why you should make the switch this summer…
Firstly, tell us about the benefits of fake tanning?
The benefits of a good fake tan are endless! First, it’s the only safe way to tan – with 15,900 cases of skin cancer in the UK alone last year, there’s no better time than now to start faking it. A glow gives that look of wellbeing, hides dark circles, disguises imperfections, makes teeth look whiter and generally gives you a boost. For many men, the all over tan improves body confidence and creates a slimmer or toned physique.
What would you say to a guy who’s on the fence about self-tanning?
If you’re undecided about tanning, take inspiration from the country’s leading male models. David Gandy and Oliver Cheshire are proud to fake it – they have been coming to me at the W Hotel Spa for years! There’s no reason a fake tan has to look fake. Men’s grooming is expanding rapidly. Skincare and beard/ hair treatments are through the roof as the discerning gent takes care of his appearance… why shouldn’t that include a self-tan routine?
Summer is nearly here! What are your biggest tan tips?
With a British summer, you never quite know when the sun is going to come out – make sure you’re prepared! I always have an instant tan at home in case the sun comes out and I need an instant glow. Fake Bake’s 5 Minute Mousse, £22, is perfect for this. It gives you an instant glow you can leave on but it also develops while you wear it, so once you shower you are left with bronzed skin. Also, as your skin is coming out of winter hibernation, it’s a great time to start a full body skincare regime. Fake Bake’s preparation products are great for this – I moisturise daily with Fake Bake’s Coconut moisturiser, £10, and use their Coconut Body Polish, £10, 2-3 times per week, ensuring my skin is looking and feeling healthy.
How easy is it for men to get a realistic looking tan?
A realistic looking tan – that no one knows you are faking – is easy! Just do your research. If you’re looking for a spray tan, ask for a recommendation; someone with experience who can perhaps contour and has great reviews. For at-home-tanning, I would suggest using a gradual tan to build up your desired colour.
Do you think a tan can be a confidence booster?
Nothing beats a sun-kissed glow. I would say it’s the main reason why anyone comes for a spray tan with me – to make themselves feel better about how they look. Whether it’s a pre-holiday glow so they don’t feel pasty when they first hit the beach, or simply for a special occasion, everyone feels more confident with a tan.
What tips do you have for guys before and after tanning?
Before any self-tan application prep is crucial for an even colour.
How can guys prolong their tan?
Maintain your tan by bathing with cool water and avoiding hot showers and baths. Moisturise the body every day with Fake Bakes Coconut Oil Free Moisturiser, which will optimise the longevity of the tan and ensure an even fade off.
Can guys tan through their facial/body hair?
Yes! a mousse is best for those with body hair, our new Tanning Water, £24.95, which has a foam texture is perfect for penetrating the skin through hair. I recommend brushing any excess spray off the beard with a beard brush after applying.
Can a fake tan effect a real tan?
There is no UV protection in self-tan, and it doesn’t act as a barrier. We always recommend using an SPF in the sun, however, this will aid in the breakdown of your self-tan so we recommend taking a bottle of tan away with you so you can maintain a healthy glow while on holiday. I would recommend our travel survival kit, £5.95, as it easily fits in your case and includes three sachets, an exfoliation towel, a moisturiser and a tanning towel.
What products would you recommend to guys who are only starting their tanning game?
Gents, start subtle! If you’re new to self-tanning and you’re ready to ditch the dangers of sun-beds, choose an easy application product. Fake Bake’s iconic Airbrush, £24.95, dubbed ‘tan in a can’, does exactly what it says on the tin- with its 360-degree nozzle, it allows users to spray a light covering of self-tan evenly onto the toughest to reach places. The beauty of this product is the tinted guide colour that allows you to see where it hits the skin, making it completely foolproof.
Feature image by George Maguire.