We all love a golden, sun-kissed glow in the summer months, but we're also aware of the dangers of sun exposure. Enter self-tan - something of a wonder product! But if not applied properly, fake tan can go very wrong - patchy hands, streaky legs... We've all been there. To avoid any disasters and ensure a natural-looking bronzed look this summer, we've rounded up our ten best tanning tips...
To achieve a beautiful, natural-looking tan, preparation is essential
1. Hair removal. Preparation is key when it comes to a flawless at-home tan! If you're waxing or shaving, ensure this is carried out 24 hours before your tan application so that the skin has had time to calm down and any leftover wax has been removed.
2. Remove old tan. You need to make sure your skin has an even surface in order to achieve a uniform colour. Either exfoliate to remove old tan and dead skin cells or, if the previous tan is particularly stubborn, use a product such as the new Tan Eraser from Bondi Sands - it melts away self-tan in just five minutes without irritating the skin.
Bondi Sands Tan Eraser is just the thing for removing stubborn fake tan
3. Nails. If you plan to paint your nails, do this before tanning - the process of a manicure/pedicure involves soaking and scrubbing, and may leave your hands/feet patchy and uneven.
4. Moisturise. Before you apply any self tan, hydrate any dry areas using an oil-free body cream - think elbows, knees and ankles - to stop the tan from developing too much.
5. Use a mitt. This is important - and a step many of us forget to take when applying fake tan. A mitt provides an even finish and means that your palms don't end up patchy and covered in tan. We love the Sienna X Luxury Self Tan Mitt.
The velvety-soft Sienna X mitt delivers a perfectly even finish
6. Don't overdo the face. To tan your face, simply sweep the remaining product left over on the mitt across your forehead, down your nose and over each cheek before blending it down your neck, towards the chest. You're likely to be adding bronzer to your face and hence it's better to leave it a touch lighter than the rest of your body.
7. Don't forget your ears! With the product left on your mitt, blend over the ears so they're not left without any tan.
8. Hydrate. Once you've tanned up your water intake - the DHA ingredients in many tans can dehydrate the skin.
9. Avoid chlorine. This might be quite tricky, as you probably can't wait to hit the swimming pool when you go on holiday, but try not to spend too long in chlorinated waters as the chemicals will strip your tan.
10. Be careful when you dry. When you use a towel to dry yourself after a bath or shower, be sure to pat the skin rather than rub as rubbing can ebb away at the tan, leaving it looking patchy.