When the British summertime fails you, these simple self-tans won't let you down. Follow our expert guide on how to achieve a flawless tan, whatever the weather.
Getting a natural-looking, no-streaky golden glow at home is no mean feat. That’s why we asked a tanning expert for his insider tips on how to avoid a tanning disaster at home.
Jules Von Hep, celebrity tanning expert and co-founder of Isle Of Paradise, gives his top tips for better bronzing…
- Shave or wax at least 24 hours prior to tanning and exfoliate with a dry brush or scrub. This means the final result will be uniform and fade evenly, just like a natural tan would.
- Remove any make-up and deodorant but don’t use cleansing oil as it forms a barrier to the tan. Apply an aloe vera-based moisturiser to elbows, hands, knees and feet, and if you are fair, to hairline and eyebrows.
- The texture you choose is all down to preference. Mousse is applied to a mitt and then onto skin; Water is sprayed directly onto skin before being buffed with a mitt; Drops are worked into your face and body moisturiser for added hydration.
- Always start from the ankles (not the feet, these come last!) and work your way up to the heart and chest. Apply your tan in sweeping motions over the body – never circular – to ensure even distribution.
- When it comes to tanning the back, you can do this alone! Just turn your mitt backwards and apply product directly onto skin, sweeping from side to side.
- Apply two coats to the body and one to the face. Use what is left on the mitt to apply to hands and feet, and wipe in between fingers with a damp cloth after application.
- Give your tan 5-10 minutes to set or speed up drying time using a hairdryer on the cool setting. Wear a loose outfit.
- Drink plenty of water. Hydrated skin won’t shed as much and will hold onto the colour for longer.
The best fake tans – whatever your tanning style
Moisturises while you sleep
Lots of tans require eight hours to develop before you can rinse, which is why the evening is a great time to apply them. But skin loses moisture at night, and dry skin is the enemy of a flawless glow. That’s why we love L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Overnight Elixir Self-Tanning Night, £14.99. Full of moisture magnet hyaluronic acid, it leaves a perfect tan.
Works in an hour
Last-minute legs-out situation? Nip+Fab Tan Express Faux Tan Mousse, £23.95, is a golden godsend. It works in as little as an hour so if you’re in a hurry, rinse off the guide colour after 60 minutes. The longer you leave it on for, the deeper your tan. Wait two hours for a medium, olive bronze, and three hours for a darker caramel. And here comes the foolproof bit – the mousse contains glycolic acid to gently exfoliate dry patches, ensuring an even, streak-free finish.
Best fake tan that will last
Self-tan can dry out your skin, which causes colour to fade. Cue St Tropez Self Tan Watermelon Infusion Bronzing Mousse, £31, which fuses intense moisture with tanning actives for a more uniform hue. It’s because of this added hydration that you can expect your glow to last up to 10 days. Can we just mention the juicy watermelon scent, too!
Best fake tan that washes off
If an off-the-shoulder top calls for a quick bit of tactical tanning, you need to slap on Rimmel Sunshimmer Instant Tan Medium Shimmer, £6.99. This wash-off bronzer is easy to blend, smells great and stays put until you rinse it off with soap and water. The light shimmer is incredibly flattering, especially on your legs, and unlike a regular developer tan, the results are instant.
Best fake tan with sun protection
Make way for the new wave of SPFs – these creams provide protection in the sun while gradually bronzing skin with built-in self-tanners. Solait Bronzing Sun Lotion SPF50, £7.99, Superdrug, offers five-star UVA protection as well as UVB filters, gradual tanning ingredients and instant bronzing pigments to max out your glow. But remember that sun cream will only give you the level of protection on the tube if you apply the correct dosage. That’s six teaspoons to cover the body of an average adult. We recommend starting the day with this then topping up with regular sun lotion.
Best fake tan to calm and soothe your skin
Whether you have sensitive skin that’s prone to flare-ups, a bit of body acne or you’ve been relaxing on the sun lounger for a little too long on holiday, the clever green colour-correcting tones in Isle Of Paradise Medium Self-Tanning Water, £18.95, will cancel out unwanted redness or blotchiness for flawless, Summer ready skin. Mist over your body until skin is saturated then lightly blend with a tanning mitt.