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5 Ways to Get a Perfect Tan

There are lots of reasons why we look forward to our holidays in the sun.

The deliciously warm seas, kicking back beneath the palm trees, not to mention that lovely feeling of stepping outside an air-conditioned hotel room to find it’s actually warmer outside than inside! But for many of us, it’s also the perfect opportunity to work on that perfect tan.

We’ve all seen bad cases of sun burn and no one wants to be that person who resembles a tomato after your first day of sun-filled skies… not a good look! So to avoid looking like a lobster on your summer break, here are our top tips for developing a healthy glow that will make all your mates back at home green with envy on your return.

Preparation is key

Your suntanning regime doesn’t just start the moment you step off the plane. If your holiday’s barely a couple of weeks away, start giving your skin some TLC in preparation. After or during your shower, make sure you exfoliate your body with a loofah or body scrub. This will remove the dead skin cells which can give you an uneven tan. Then apply moisturiser all over, paying special attention to dry areas such as elbows, knees, fingernails and toes.

Repeat daily until it’s time to set off for the airport.

Get a base

Another way you can get ready for your time in the sun is to get a base level of tan before you even arrive at the beach. This way, you’ll avoid those blinding white legs the first time you don your bikini and it gives you a bit more breathing room to build your tan slowly and safely.

If you have sensitive skin, use a light tanning lotion – or a moisturiser with fake tan in it – for a week or so before you go. You’ll be amazed what a little tinted moisturiser can do.

Don’t skimp on the sunscreen

So you’ve grabbed your towel and your swim suit and you’ve bagged your spot on the sand, all that remains is to lie back and enjoy the sun, right? Well, before you get stuck into that paperback, remember sun cream is essential, whether you intend to tan or not.

Sun block will prevent any rays getting in at all, but sunscreen or sun cream only blocks harmful UVA and UVB rays, and will allow you to develop a natural colour over the course of a few days. So don’t skimp on your skin safety – apply sun cream generously 15 minutes before you go out in the sun or before you take a dip in the sea and keep applying it throughout the day.

Look after your skin

Enthusiastic sun-seekers often make the mistake of staying out in the sun all day, every day, and doing little to look after their skin afterwards. Taking a cool shower when you’ve been out in the heat can do wonders for re-balancing your skin’s temperature and will close your pores, improving your skin’s condition.

Carry on with your generous moisturising regime after every sunbathing session, moisturiser is the key to your perfect tan. You should also invest in a special after-sun product which will cool the skin after a day in the glare of the sun.

Fake it

If all else fails, you can always fake it! There are countless tanning products out there nowadays, from tanning mousse to spray bottles. If you’re not confident about applying an all-over tanning lotion yourself, you can get a friend to help with those awkward-to-reach areas. Alternatively, treat yourself to a spray tan at the salon before you leave, nothing beats stepping down onto the concourse already looking like a celebrity who belongs in the sun!

Remember, however much you want that perfect tan, you should have a sensible limit to your sun exposure. Keep your sunbathing stints to half an hour before having a break in the shade, you might not notice how much colour you’ve gained until you get back to your hotel, so take it easy out there!

Images by dodongflores and Thomas Tolkien, used under Creative Comms licence.