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Model with a golden fake tan

5 steps to the
perfect tan

Packed with tips and tricks, our five-step tan
plan reveals how to avoid tell-tale streaks,
patches and orange palms, and helps you
achieve enviably (and safely) sun-kissed skin

1. Buff your body


Preparation is everything if you want to prevent patchy results. Exfoliate from top to toe 24 hours before your tan – this creates an even base and wipes the slate clean when your current tan is past its prime. Hair removal is best done a day in advance as well.

Tanning tip:
Always opt for a gel-based scrub – oily formulas leave a residue which prevent your fake tan from developing evenly.

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2. Moisturise


Before you tan, rub a rich moisturiser over your hands, feet, knees and elbows – as the driest areas of skin, this trick stops them from absorbing too much product and going darker than the rest of your body.

Tanning tip:
Apply a little around your hairline and into brows as well to prevent your hair from being discoloured by your tan.

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3. Find your formula


Whether you prefer fast-drying sprays, nourishing oils, gradual formulations or instant glow-givers – matching your fake tan to your lifestyle, or your skin’s needs, is the easiest shortcut to finding the best formula for you. Browse our selection of the hottest brands on the market to find your favourite.

Tanning tip:
If you’re nervous about streaks, choose a product with a guide colour so you can see exactly where you have and haven’t applied.

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4. Work upwards


Whichever formula you choose, make sure you apply it like a pro. To avoid smudges, work from your feet upwards, using long sweeping strokes with your mitt over your legs, tummy, back and arms.

Tanning tip:
Hands and feet are always the trickiest areas to get right – for the perfect finish, use any product leftover on your mitt after tanning arms and legs, then buff in to ensure it’s blended and even.

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5. Make it last


Keep your tan looking holiday-fresh by dialling down your shower temperature – water that’s too hot can break down the bronze-effect faster. Pat dry and moisturise daily.

Tanning tip:
We like St Tropez’s Prep & Maintain Tan Enhancing Body Moisturiser which is proven to prolong your colour by an extra three days.

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From 5* ratings to top beauty awards, these four hot products are the summer heroes everyone’s talking about

St Tropez self tan bronzing mousse

St Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

Loved by beauty

Shop St Tropez

James Read sleep mask tan face

James Read Sleep Mask Tan Face

Vogue 100 winner

Shop James Read

Autograph Gradual tan body crème

Autograph Gradual Tan Body Crème

Five-star rated

Shop Autograph

Vita Liberata self-tan bronzer

Vita Liberata Self-Tan Bronzer

Cosmo Beauty Award winner

Shop Vita Liberata