Safer than a sunbed and without the risk of sunburn, we all love a good fake tan.
But how do you stop yourself from going out with streaky thighs, orange hands and a general biscuity aroma?
To help you get your glow on, we’ve come up with a foolproof method of applying the perfect even tan, complete with our recommendations of the best primers, exfoliants, creams, and mitts.
Let’s get tanning.
How to prep your skin for fake tan
A good fake tan is all about laying the groundwork in advance.
If you’re going to de-fuzz in advance make sure you do this 24 hours before you apply the self-tan otherwise it will collect in the hair follicles, leaving dark dots of pigment.
We like Wilkinson Sword’s Xtreme 3 Beauty Eco-Green razors (£4.50), the first 95% recycled and fully recyclable disposable razors.
The next step is to exfoliate and Holland & Barrett’s long-handled natural bristle brush (£9.99) is ideal.
Then slough off dead skin with a body scrub such as Ren’s Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish (£36), paying particular attention to heels, knees, elbows, hands and feet.
Weleda’s Birch Body Scrub and Birch Cellulite Oil (£10.50 and £27.25) combine to tone and firm the skin while stimulating your circulation.
Hydration is key
If your skin is dry, tanning lotion will absorb more into those areas and appear uneven, so it’s important to hydrate in advance.
Drink at least two litres of water a day and apply a lotion daily for the week before you apply your tan.
Try Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Body Gel Cream (£3.95) but don’t apply a thick lotion right before you do your tan as it will stop it from absorbing as well — moisturise the night before instead.
We love Skinny Tan’s Pre Tan Primer (£11.99).
An hour before applying tan, lightly moisturise dry and bony areas to stop the tan from pooling and forming dark patches.
Get your glow on
The best way to apply your tan is with a mitt.
Velvotan Original Tanning Mitt (£2.99) works with all formulas. Start from the feet and work upwards. When you get to your neck, toes and fingers, mix in some moisturiser.
The Organic Pharmacy’s Self-Tan (£38) is natural and develops in just three hours for a delicate, sun-kissed look.
If you want a deeper tan reach for Bondi Sands Aero One Hour Express Self-Tanning Foam (£18.99) or Cocoa Brown’s 1 Hour Tan Mousse (£7.99).
If you’re a first-time faker go for gradual fake tans that build up a little each day you apply them. Dove’s DermsSpa Summer Revived (£3.50) adds colour gently.
Love tan but hate the telltale smell? Then San Tropez’s Purity Bronzing Water Gel (£22) could be for you as it promises no smell.
Red alert: Stay sun safe
A fake tan won’t offer you protection from the sun so keep on top of your SPF game — you don’t want red patches ruining the illusion of your healthy glowing tan.
Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Sun Milk SPF 30 (£10) is a light, milky mineral SPF that’s super gentle on skin prone to acne, eczema, rosacea and heat rash.
Or try Paul & Joe Super UV Body Primer SPF50 (£22), a moisturising formula that is resistant to perspiration, water and rubbing off.
And if you’re SUP-ing this summer, wear the ultimate protection — SPF 50 and UV-proof clothing. We love the Roxy x Liberty print wetsuit swimsuit (£129.99).