Self-tanning tips – your guide to getting the best results
Whether you want to look like you’ve spent the week on a sun-drenched beach or just get your legs out of hibernation for those spring events, here’s how to get the glow – no sunshine required.
How to prep for fake tan
Step one: hair removal
If you choose to remove your body hair, make sure this is done 24 hours before you tan. Self-tanners tend to sink into open pores, creating darker spots.
Step two: exfoliate
The most obvious sign of a DIY job is patchiness and dry skin is the culprit. 48 hours before you tan, use a body scrub all over, paying particular attention to knees, ankles, elbows and wrists.
Step three: moisturise
Use a body lotion to replenish the skin’s moisture and repeat 24 hours before you tan to top up the hydration levels.
Step four: Cleanse
Immediately before tanning, use a body cleanser in the shower to create a smooth canvas that allows the fake tan to soak in more evenly.
Self-tanning prep tip:
Fragrances can make the skin’s surface sticky and prevent the tan from absorbing properly. They can also turn some fake tans a weird colour, so try to avoid them before tanning and whilst it develops.
How to apply fake tan
Step one: choose the right tan
Think about whether you want to use an instant tan, a gradual tan, tanning mists, tanning water or mousse. The list is endless!
Step two: always use a mitt
For a flawless tan and just as importantly, streak-free hands, always apply fake tan with an applicator mitt. It will help evenly distribute and blend your tan and prevent tell-tale signs.
Step three: dry before dressing
If you’re using a wash-off tan, it needs to dry fully before dressing. When you do get dressed, opt for loose-fitting clothing (and avoid white!)
Step four: cool water wash-off
If you choose wash-off tan, let it develop for between 4 and 8 hours. Wash it off with slightly cooler water than you’d normally use and avoid soap and body scrubs as they can fade the colour. Rinse until the water runs clear.
Step five: maintenance
Now that you have the perfect glow, the trick is making it last. Gently exfoliate every few days and moisturise twice a day. This will help your tan last up to 10 days.
Too much moisturiser causes fake tan to slide off the skin so don't overdo it!