Faking it is a much safer option than sunbathing but the possibility of streaky, orange peel-like skin puts many people off. But whether you’ve had one bad experience or are a complete self-tan novice, don’t worry, here are our top ten tips to getting a gorgeous natural glow like a pro.
1. Exfoliate both your face and body, paying particular attention to areas prone to dry skin (elbows, knees, heels, etc.) before reaching for the self-tan.
2. Do not moisturise pre-tan as it can cause the tan to sit on top, rather than soak into your skin. The only places you need moisturise are very dry areas (such as elbows, knees, ankles and feet) to help the self tan smooth on. Moisturiser can also be used as a barrier to cover fair eyebrows/hairlines.
3. Choose a self tan with visible colour so that you can see where you are applying it.
4. Use a glove to apply the tan all over your body and face, lightly smoothing it in as you go. Do not rub it in as this can cause patchiness.
5. Once you have applied the self-tan everywhere but your hands, remove your gloves and wipe the back of your hands on your inside thighs or upper arms since this is where excess product is likely to sit; it should be just enough to cover them.
6. Use a tanning mitt (available at most chemists including Boots) to buff any wet or patchy areas.
7. Do not get fully dressed for 10 – 60 minutes depending on the self-tan you are using. Instant tanners really can give instant colour but some gradual-tanners take up to an hour to develop. And you can usually feel when the self-tan has been fully absorbed. Wear loose fitting, dark clothes.
8. Do not bath or shower for six hours after applying your self-tan. And when you do, avoid abrasive soaps and shower gels with essential oils as these can strip colour. We love St Tropez’s Tan Optimizer Shower Cream (£10) to keep tanned skin moisturised and colour intact.
9. Do not exfoliate while wearing a fake tan as this can cause your colour to quickly fade.
10. Moisturise regularly as dry, flaky skin will cause colour to rub off and your tan to look patchy. In fact, tan-prolonging moisturisers actually help maintain fake tans too.
Follow our ten steps and then, whatever the weather, you can be sure to have a safe and sexy, summer glow.