As those warmer months swing around, you might be thinking about bearing a bit more flesh. Self-tanners are the ultimate cheat when it comes to getting that sun-kissed glow, minus the sunny weather. Despite months of cloud and rain, you can step out with your legs or arms on show, and not feel like a ghost. We've all seen a bad self-tan job in the past, so to avoid falling into that same trap, read up on our top tips for getting a smooth, even tan.
Always exfoliate first
Quite literally, rule #1 for self-tanning is to exfoliate before you do anything else. This will take off any dead skin and give you a nice smooth surface to work from. Why is this important? Because you won't get those unsightly uneven patches at the end.
Next up, you'll need to moisturise! Go for an oil-free moisturiser to avoid creating a barrier on your skin, giving your tanning product chance to absorb fully. Get moisturising all over your body and our face, paying particular attention to hands, knees and elbows. It's worth noting that you'll need to forgo deodorant until your tan has developed.
You may even want to use an oil-based moisturiser on just those drier areas, to avoid that tell-tale self-tan misstep. Look at products like Vaseline's Intensive Care Advanced Repair Body Lotion, and Clinique's Deep Comfort Body Lotion.
Use the right tools
You won't get far without the right equipment when it comes to getting the perfect self-tan. Mitts are one essential. Something like the St Moriz Self Tan Applicator Mitt will do the trick. Professional standard mitts like this have a lotion proof barrier, so you won't get nasty orange stains on your hands post-tan.
Choose your self-tanner
Picking the right self-tan for you depends on how deep you want the tan to look, and what kind of product feels more natural for you to apply. You can find mousses, lotions and sprays. The deeper you want to go, the more layers you apply.
Our favourites include St Moriz Instant Self-Tanning Mousse in dark, which works with all skin types. St Tropez's Self Tan Sensitive Bronzing Body Lotion is ideal if you want to sleep on it, as there's no instant colour to rub off on sheets and clothing. It's also great for sensitive skin. Then there's products like James Read's Gradual Tan Day Tan Body which can be applied every couple of days for natural looking glow.
Blow dry your skin Final step not to be missed, is the drying of your skin. Your hair dryer on a low heat will do the job perfectly. Make sure to dry all areas, including those tricky bits like behind your knees, and keep on moisturising after your tan settles to prolong it as much as possible.