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Guide to Bronzing

For that holiday glow all year round, fake tan and bronzing is a cost effective solution! From faking a deep bronzed effect to building up a gradual sun-kissed colour, the options are plentiful. Before getting your self- tan on, check out our top ten tanning tips below, and check out the answers to the questions you most often ask about fake tan. If we missed out any, let us know!

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  • Self-Tan
  • Instant Tan/Wash Off
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  • Accessories & Fake Tan Remover
  • Top 10 Tanning Tips:

  • 1. Shave or wax at least 24 hours before tanning to give skin time to settle down before applying product. Waxing in particular opens pores and so can leave a speckled effect if tan is applied too soon!
  • 2. Sweep and smooth on your chosen tanning products in up and down swipes. Circular motions and rubbing may result in an uneven finish.
  • 3. If you apply fake tan regularly make full-body exfoliations a part of your regular beauty routine. This will stop a buildup of tanning product on the skin which may cause patching.
  • 4. When applying to the face, blend the tanning product in with your usual moisturiser for a more sun kissed, natural glow.
  • 5. Pay close attention to the areas not naturally tanned by the sun- in between toes, back of ankles and under the armpits. Remove excess tan from here or the tan won't look natural.
  • 6. Make sure the fake tan meets the hairline as this is another giveaway. For those with fair hair (including eyebrows!) use a corrector wipe to remove excess product and avoid staining the hair.
  • 7. Apply tan in a well lit room to ensure you can see your application as clearly as possible to ensure a good and even coverage.
  • 8. Once you feel the tan has dried enough, wear dark clothing that will hang loosely from the body. Anything tight-fitting may disturb the tan making the results patchy.
  • 9. In the first two hours after applying tan, avoid water and sweating as much as possible. If you need to wash hands try using a hand sanitiser instead.
  • 10. To prolong your tan it is important to keep skin moisturised. Look out for a nourishing moisturiser with a shimmer that will enhance your 'sun-kissed' skin further. Some moisturisers contain a subtle self-tanner to condition skin whilst also building a summer glow.

You asked...

How do I stop my tan from streaking?

To avoid getting a streaky tan, take time to prep your skin! Exfoliate the day before you plan to tan. Do this thoroughly to remove dead skin leaving you a good, even base to work on to. If you shave, do this the day before too to allow skin to settle down before applying fake tan. When skin is ready, use a tanning mitt and apply in small sections starting from your feet and working up the body to avoid smudging as you go.

Is there a way to prolong the tan?

Carefully prep the area you wish to tan by exfoliating skin to remove dead skin cells, this will not only help the tan go onto the skin smoothly, but will also allow the tan to develop better and last longer. After showering, pat yourself dry rather than rubbing skin so not to disturb the tan. Keeping skin well moisturised is also an important factor to prolonging a bronzed glow, so lather on the body cream over the following days!

I've never used fake tan before, where do I start?

We would suggest starting slowly with a gradual tan! This is a much more subtle way of building colour and so mistakes are less apparent as the tan develops over a number of days. Try St.Tropez's Gradual Tan Kit for everything you need to build your tan, including a powder bronzer that will enhance and define your glow. If you want a richer colour that gradual tanning cannot give, try a tanning mousse, such as the light and hydrating formula from Lauren's Way. The fluffy formula is quick drying and easy to apply. Self-Tan Mousse is quick to work with and also easy to correct.

There is a right tanning product for everyone so initially you may experiment with different brands and formulas before finding the best option for you.

What can I do to stop patchy knees and feet!?

It's important to moisturise, and then moisturise again! Dry skin areas such as knees, elbows, feet and hands are the tricky parts as they quickly absorb tanning product, and so can easily develop darker and appear patchy. Use a fragrance-free moisturiser to target these areas only by applying liberally before starting the tanning process. After applying the tan solution, use Solait's Self Tan Buffing Mitt to blot and blend excess product for a smooth, natural looking finish.

How long does it take for the tan to develop?

It depends on the brand, but usually it will take up to 8 hours for the tan to fully develop. Use this time to keep an eye out for any mistakes as the earlier you catch them the easier it will be to correct them! The best way to allow the tan to develop is overnight, so if possible, get bronzed-beauty sleep but be aware that the tan may come off onto bedding- so be careful not ruin expensive sheets! If you are in a hurry Cocoa Brown has launched an Instant Tan mousse that develops in just one hour!

What is the best tan for fair/pale skin?

We would suggest a gradual tan for fair skin as this will give you more control by allowing colour to build up over a number of days.

How long should I wait before showering?

Wait a couple of hours after tanning before climbing into the shower to allow the tan to take effect.

If I use fake tan do I still need to wear sun cream?

Yes, make sure you always wear sunscreen! Tanning products do not provide protection from the sun. For more information visit our sun cream page.

Can I remove fake tan?

To remove fake tan try a bath with a few drops of baby oil and exfoliate skin with an exfoliating scrub. To remove small mistakes or excess tan on the palms of hands use a tan corrector wipe.