How to apply fake tan

A good fake tan can give you a healthy glow and help to conceal any imperfections on your skin. A bad fake tan, on the other hand, looks tacky and cheap, and can emphasise dry skin and blemishes. Follow our guide on how to apply fake tan and you'll soon be tanning like a pro!

How to apply fake tan

1. A good fake tan starts with good preparation. It's best to start this preparation the day before you want the tan. In the morning, shave or wax - if you apply tan soon after hair removal the tan will sink into follicles and leave you with a speckled look.

2. Exfoliate thoroughly. This will remove any dead skin that colour tends to cling to.

3. Apply a good moisturiser, concentrating on areas of dry skin such as elbows, heels and knees. Dry areas tend to absorb more tan, leaving you with dreaded orange patches. However it's important not to moisturise right before applying fake tan or the colour won't be absorbed. Apply moisturiser after exfoliating in the morning and wait until evening to apply the tan.

4. It's best to use a fake tan mit to ensure even coverage and avoid stained hands and nails. Mits also make it easier to apply tan to hard-to-reach areas like the centre of your back. Apply a golf-ball sized squirt of mousse or a 10p piece sized squirt of lotion to one of your feet and gently distribute it in a circular motion.

5. Work from your toes to your top, putting fake tan directly onto your skin and lightly rubbing it in with the mit in large circular motions.

6. Don't apply fake tan directly to dry areas (such as knees and elbows) - lightly sweep the mit over them to avoid orange patches.

7. Use a little moisturiser to blend the tan where it would naturally fade - such as around the hairline and between fingers and toes.

8. Wait for around 30 minutes then apply a second layer to areas that would naturally catch the sun - such as your nose, your shoulders and collarbone.

9. Once the tan is dry, put on loose fitting pyjamas while the tan deepens and develops overnight.

10. In the morning, shower off any excess tan by sweeping your hands and a little shower gel over your body under a light stream of water. Don't scrub or rub.

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