Golden ever after

Golden ever after

Try these handy tips and enjoy a longer lasting self-tan this summer

In June, there’s no reason to cover up, particularly if you have a high SPF to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays – try Dermalogica’s Protection 50 Sport for ultimate, waterproof coverage. And, by applying self-tan, you can show off a ‘sun-kissed’ look without exposing your skin to potential damage.

A self-tan provides a safe way to get a golden glow – but it’s not completely problem-proof. From streaks to uneven fade, a self-tan can cause beauty hiccups.

We’ve put together a few tips for a flawless finish that goes the distance.

Exfoliate in advance

Exfoliating around 24-hours before applying your self-tan is a great way to ensure an even, long-lasting glow. An oil free body scrub is best, and exfoliating gloves or a dry body brush will provide an even smoother base layer for your tan. Pay special attention to ‘rougher’ areas of skin, where the self-tan can collect, including elbows and knees.

Perfecting your epilation

When removing hair, you are also stripping or disturbing the top layer of your skin, which is the same layer the tanning agent colours. This can leave a self-tan looking patchy or streaky – so aim to wax 48-hours before applying your self-tan, or shave 24-hours before.


Before applying your tan, take a cool shower with a conditioning body wash, rinsing away all traces of deodorant and moisturiser. Applying the tan to a completely clean body prevents any debris, or perspiration, reacting with the tan – which can cause the glow to look less golden.

Sensible serum

Rather than using a moisturiser, which can interfere with the even application of your self-tan, a facial serum is a much better option. Most good quality self-tan lotions will moisturise your body as well as colouring it, so you shouldn’t need to worry if your skin is dry: choose a product that adds moisture and suits your skin type and you won’t need to ‘double-up’.

Dress down

After applying your tan, wait as long as you can before getting dressed. Choosing your post-tan outfit is important: obviously you want to avoid staining any light coloured clothes, but you need to think about protecting your tan, too. Soft, loose fitting cotton dresses and jumpsuits are smart choices. Avoid skinny jeans, close fitting athleisure and flip-flops: tight clothes and straps can interfere with the development of your tan.

Time it right

If you want your self-tan to look flawless for a specific occasion, or the start of your holiday, timing is everything. A self-tan will usually fade over the course of a week, so it makes sense to apply it one to two days before the event/your departure date, so you’ll look beautifully bronzed with your tan at its peak. On holiday, you might want to bring enough product to re-apply the tan towards the end of your stay (or enough for two applications if you’re going away for a fortnight).

Pick your products

If you’re ready to make the most of these self-tanning tips, here are five of the most reliable, long-lasting products to consider for your beauty bag:

Eco Tan Smooth and Cleanse – a careful blend of non-oily moisturisers, with exfoliating granules, to perfectly prepare and condition your skin for self-tanning.

Xen Tan New Instant Bronzing Mist – perfect if you love the flawless, even colour and coverage of a spray tan, this Instant Bronzing Mist from Xen Tan provides professional-looking results at home.

St Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse – this super-lightweight, easy-to-apply, velvety mousse delivers an ultra-even all-over tan.

Skinny Tan 7 Day Tanner – this bronze cream tanner, with a tropical scent, goes on instantly and lasts up to seven days.

Fake Bake Airbrush – this instant, long-lasting, self-tanning spray results in intense, even and natural-looking colour – it’s great for topping-up your tan, too!