Last Sunday, I awoke to beautiful sunshine, birds chirping, daffodils sprouting and the joys of Spring in my step. I put on my head torch and mining gear and dug into the doldrums of my wardrobe in the hope of wearing something that didn’t resemble arctic mountaineering gear. I chose a nice blue swing dress to ease me into brighter clothing, looked in the mirror for a final inspection and…oh dear. I caught sight of my legs in the full light of day and thought they’d been replaced with a haunting shade of grey that would make a Whitewalker proud.
As soon as I entered work on Monday morning, I chastised myself for not starting my pre-summer prep earlier. I always have trouble tanning my legs and over the years have searched high and low as to why the tanning gods were against me. But I know I’m not alone in my plight and now I know the reasons why.
Now for the science bit…
Our body does a wonderful job of pumping all our lovely red blood around our body keeping us alive and kicking, but the legs are a place where the blood doesn’t move as easily, mainly due to gravity and the effort it takes to get the blood back up to the heart to pump around the body again. The blood tends to stay deeper inside our legs, near the large muscles and veins and away from the periphery (the skin). As all you tanning buffs know, you actually get a tan from UV light causing a pigment called melanin (the brown colour) to be produced in melanocytes (cells) causing the skin to darken. For the cells to function properly, they need to be oxygenated (supplied by the Oxygen carried in the blood). As the skin in the legs has less free flowing blood, sometimes they need a little help to tan.
This is the reason that leg creams are specially formulated and widely used in the tanning industry. Some contain bronzers to add an instant colour while accelerating and others use a tingle. The tingles work by causing the skin to redden (bringing blood to the surface) this quickens the tanning process by ensuring those hard working melanocytes are drenched with Oxygen, helping you to tan quicker and at Bliss we have 5 products to chose from.
First there are the bronzers; these all contain a cosmetic bronzer to give an instant colour and gratification and also self-tanners to leave a lasting colour:
Tannymaxx Sexy Dating Legs (£7.50 Salon /£15.00 RRP)
Tannymaxx Tres Jolie Brilliant Leg Bronzer (£9.00 Salon/£18.00 RRP)
Devoted Creations Lavish legs (£7.49 Salon/£14.99 RRP).
Then there are tingles which cause the tingling/reddening effect:
Body Butter Leg Oil (£6.50 Salon/£12.99 RRP)
And finally there are tingle/bronzers, a dual product designed to give an instant and delayed colour while helping build the natural tan with the tingling action:
Tannymaxx Sexy Dating Legs Hot Bronzer (£7.50 Salon/£15.00 RRP)
Tingles are not for everyone, as they cause the skin to feel irritated, but as the skin on the legs is thicker they can usually be felt less, making them bearable for most people. I for one will be using a tingle to kick start my summer. What will you use?