Before I left London I had become mildly obsessed with fake tan. A new generation of self-tanning treatments that promised non-orangey, non-streaky results coupled with a new awareness of the damage sunbathing can do to the skin, meant that most women I knew were hitting the (fake tan) bottle.
When I moved to Asia, it became evident that looking suntanned wasn’t so big among the locals in fact it was positively spurned. Slowly I began to embrace having pale skin too. Recently though, following a trip back to London where everyone looked so golden limbed, I’ve been hankering after that golden glow again. So, with the super strength of the rays here in Singapore, faux seemed the only way to go.
Healthier still is the idea of a self-tan from The Organic Pharmacy, which, rather than using chemicals, is based on 100 percent natural ingredients derived from sugar beet. As luck would have it, Auriga at the Capella hotel on Sentosa, is one of my favourite spas in town, and also happens to now offer this wonderful tanning treatment. (Tip: If you book a session here, be sure to go a good half hour early so you can enjoy the fabulous heat and water rooms.)
Onto the treatment, first, my friendly therapist explained the process to me – no oils on the skin beforehand, no showers afterwards for eight hours. To start with, she removed my make-up with a non-oil based cleanser before using expert, massage strokes to first apply an exfoliator (made from green coffee which as well as sloughing off deadline skin tackles cellulite – bonus!) After a shower, the self- tan cream was similarly expertly applied and although I plumped for the light dose, you can go as dark as you like with this one.
After a few minutes I noticed something: there was no strange chemical smell you normally associate with self-tan lotions. Instead the aroma was more like a soothing massage oil, better still, the cream took only one minute to dry and there was no feeling of stickiness or greasiness (a real bug bear of mine.)
Image sourced from Pinterest
I was told the tan would develop in three hours but after one I could already see a healthy glow and the next morning I awoke with a lovely golden tan. If I’m being picky, it was a bit patchy around the soles of the feet but not that anyone would notice and had a faint “self tan” smell but that disappeared the next day.
I was happy with the “natural” honey shade, not too dark for my colouring, just as I’d asked for. The therapist told me the tan should last for a week, starting to fade after three days. I’m on day four and that seems spot on. I’m not sure my diary or my bank balance would allow me to go every week for a top- up (you can also buy a bottle to apply at home) but I would definitely return before a party or holiday.
Organic Self-Tanning Treatment $120++
Auriga Spa, Capella Hotel Singapore, 1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098297, 6591 5023, www.auriga-spa.com