We all want it – that perfect, sun-kissed glow that whispers of faraway shores and sunning ourselves on summer beaches (even if we’ve only actually been as far as Dorset…). It’s all about avoiding the skin-damaged, boiled lobster look – and then prolonging that tan for as long as possible! So whether you’re a dedicated sun-worshipper, or prefer to fake it and keep to the shade, follow our top tips for prepping, perfecting and prolonging that tan!

Perfect summer tan

Prep your skin

Exfoliation is the key to getting a smooth, even tan. Get your skin buffed and healthy with an exfoliating scrub that’s easy to use in your morning shower – we love the subtle apricot scent of this one from St Ives, £4.29.
Finish up with a decent moisturiser to soothe and calm your skin – we’re big fans of Soap & Glory’s Righteous Butter, £10 – which is now also available as a pump-action lotion, even easier for slathering on as part of your morning routine.

Fake it

Whether you like to stay under a shady umbrella, or just want to kickstart your tan before stepping into that bikini, there’s a fantastic range of products for self-tanning at home.

If you’re worried about being tango-ed a few days before your holiday, try using a moisturiser which contains tanning product for a few days before you travel. You can gradually build up your tan, stopping when you’ve reached the level of glow you’re after. Try L’Oreal Sublime Bronze, £4.66 available to suit a range of skin types.

If you prefer to go straight for self-tan, you really can’t go wrong with St Tropez Bronzing Mousse, £13.67 – still our favourite home-tanning product, and so easy to use. Just make sure you’re moisturised drier areas, like elbows, ankles and knees, before you start.

Bake it

Prefer to work on getting genuine tan lines? Use a decent sunscreen with high SPF to protect against burning and dreaded wrinkles. Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Cream, £19 is perfect for use on sensitive face skin (no one wants that red-nosed look!) and we’re also trying out the new spray-on sunscreens – super-easy to apply, and no greasy hands or white streaks of lotion – try Garnier’s Ambre Solaire Mist, £7.50 in a range of factors.

Make it last

The all-important bit of tanning – making it last once you’re back from your holiday and those days in the sun are a distant dream! Keep skin healthy and hydrated to prolong your summer glow. Carry on with your exfoliating scrub (it really won’t ‘scrub off’ the tan, we promise!) and use a soothing after-sun moisturiser, like this gorgeous After Sun Pomegranate Sorbet, £5.

So there you have it – our top tips for getting (and keeping!) the perfect summer tan.
What are your fave tanning products? Let us know @tweetjanes

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