Faking it - how to apply fake tan

If you have beautiful pale skin, burn easily, or simply want a bit of bronzing then fake tan really is a godsend for when you might like to have  a change to that elusive golden tan without doing damage. A good fake tan correctly applied can give an instant anti-ageing, anti-fatigue lift and a healthy boost to the skin and mind. Dreading those summer months where glowing friends bare their golden limbs in elegant floral frocks, or worse, cut off denim? Wondering how, when you go abroad, you manage to return even more white, having apparently been bleached by the sun? Fear not! We pale and interesting types can rock a tan just as well as the smug sun babies, especially now that skincare and tan technology is so advanced and clever. A few decades ago it might have been a big risk (socially and asthetically) doing a fake tan, and most likely an experience which would result in long-remembered humiliation on the games pitch, while your school mates stared on with pity at your stripy orange legs. It can and does take years to master the art of applying fake tan. If you’re a fake tan virgin, or near enough, you’ll welcome some of our top tips on how to apply it. So, get ready to try these techniques out before summer gets here, so you too can be a beach goddess - and all without actually damaging your skin in the sun - fabulous! 

  • Prep your skin: ensure you’ve shaved / waxed and scrub away dead skin with hand mitts or buffer brush.
  • Moisturise dry areas: heels, hands, knees, feet, elbows, wrists and anywhere else you think might be a bit dry. Also, don’t forget to smear a bit of moisturiser over the eyebrows and hairline and between the fingers.
  • Wear a mitt: these are sold with the tan or you can pick them up from most chemists or supermarkets and only cost around £2. You can wash these. 
  • If using a spray buff straight into the skin with the mitt. 
  • Work the tan into the skin from the feet upwards and work in circular, small motions. Get someone to do your back. 
  • Apply to the face last and use sparingly. 
  • Wash your hands well after use and re-apply more moisturiser to smooth over hands and fingers, drawing down any excess tan from the arms. 
  • Wear loose clothing until tan is dry. 
  • Moisturise daily to lock in the tan. 
  • To keep up the tan, exfoliate and reapply twice a week. 

Tans that top the charts:

Sun Believable Discover Me Collection - this award-winning formula has all sorts of goodies in it, including organic black seed, jojoba, virgin plum oils and hyaluronic acid. This is a great tan package and feels lovely on the skin and not at all sticky. The face tan feels and behaves like a serum. £29.99

Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter's 1 HOUR TAN MOUSSE (£7.99) is a cult product favoured by many. This comes in four colours and has an accompanying extra shimmer of luxury with their Golden Goddess Dry Body Oil / Rose Gold and Gold Goddess Shimmering Dry Body Oil (£9.99). For removing old tan or extra faded or patchy bits before you reapply your next tan, use the best-selling Fresh Start three to four days after applying fake tan, leave on for five minutes then shower off. £9.99. All Cocoa Brown products are available from Superdrug.