With summer just around the corner and the sun (occasionally) deciding to get its hat on every now and then, it's time to transform yourself from hairy, translucent hibernation beast into a GOLDEN TANNED GODDESS OF DREAMS, if you want. Up to you.
But as lovely as it is to show off a babein' bronzed summer tan, the task of faking it and creating a natural looking tan straight outta the bottle can be quite the challenge, especially if you happen to be a bit cack-handed like ourselves.
Orange bits, patchy knees and mismatched body parts are just some of the uber nightmares that come with whacking on the tan, but here's 11 genius solutions to solve all of your fake tanning struggles this summer.
1. Orange hands
Solved: Invest in a tanning mitt.
This one might sound basic af, but if you're anything like us then you're probably guilty of either whacking on the fake tan last minute with JUST your hands, or splashing out and sacrificing an old sock to apply the stuff. You're asking for oompa loopma palms either way, so just fork out a couple of pounds on a tanning mitt to solve that one. We tend to say the cheaper, the better.
St Moritz tanning mitt, £2.99 Feel Unique
2. Crusty knees and elbows
Solved: Don't be lazy with your body skincare.
It's tanning rule numero uno that you need to exfoliate all over before fake tanning, but body lotions, moisturiser, oil-based exfoliants and even hair removal wax can leave a barrier on the skin which will lead to patchiness. Do exfoliate and then moisturise, but only sparingly on dry areas and avoid using too much on the knees and elbows, as this thins out your self tanner and can be a real cause of streaks. Ideally, moisturise the day BEFORE you tan.
Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub, £8.00 Boots
3. Sleeping with a sticky body
Solved: The genius of a tanning onesie.
Alright, so this one's probably only for seasoned tanning pros, but there's literally NOTHING grosser than the feeling of getting into bed when you've just done your tan. It's beyond sticky and feeling your bits and pieces sticking together just ain't cute. You could just whack on an old nightie, but to ensure no creases or pesky pyjama bottoms lines, a tansie might just be your new best pal.
Tansie, £7.50 TanGuard.co.uk
4. Smelling like biscuits
Solved: Odour-less fake tan.
Most people think summer smells like candy floss, daisy-covered meadows and ice lollies, but we all know that it actually smells like biscuits. Even the super expensive odour-less ones smell a liiiiiiittle bit tanny because it's the main tanning ingredient that causes it, but Bondi Sands is one of our faves because it's coconut scented instead. Lovely jubbly.
5. Going patchy round the armpits
Solved: Sort your deodorant out.
Apparently this is one of the most common and annoying mistakes that people make when fake tanning, so you're not alone. Try to avoid applying too much tan in this area, and blend it out into your bits instead. A blast of Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Body Mist or similar lighter formulas work a treat in these awks areas, and a roll on deodorant is much kinder on the tan than an aerosol deodorant.
Mitchum cream stick deoderant, £2.23 Superdrug
6. Waring off around your chest, boobs or bra lines
Solved: A sprinkle of talcum powder.
Sounds weird, but simply shake some talc or baby powder into your bra, and try this under the arms, at joints, knees, inner arms and in your socks, basically where skin touches skin. The talc absorbs the body's sweat and protects against friction from fabrics that get warm against the skin, causing the tan to separate and cause the wear-off. Particularly handy if you're a bit of a gym bunny and DEAD cheap.
7. Tan not lasting long enough
Solved: Take showers over baths, and moisturise oil-free.
If you're serious about the fake tanning malarky, then you've got to invest in the maintenance, too to ensure an even fade. First, stop the baths and have warm showers instead - but remember that being vigorous with your towel will buff the tan away early. And remember the golden rule to moisturise with an oil free moisturiser. A nourished tan is an even tan.
Kiehl's Creme de Corps Whipped Body Butter, £36.00
8. Getting it all off to start again
Solved: Good exfoliators, or specially designed products.
We've all been there - you've either done a really, really crap job at your fake tan, or you just need to get all the final patches off to start all over again. Either get scrubbing in the shower with an effective exfoliator, or try something a bit different if you're on a budget.
Warm lemon juice is a nifty trick for getting rid of the last few traces of tan, while steam rooms, white toothpaste and mens shaving foam are all recommended home methods too. There's also some nifty gadgets out there to help get rid of fake tan, like this jazzy tan eraser.
Tan Eraser, £6.00 taneraser.com
9. The effort of doing your back
Solved: Sponge on a stick.
Is there anything harder in life than trying to get an even tan across your back? Literally no. Obviously if you've got a pal or a bae who can help you out then there's no problem, but doing it by yourself is an eternal struggle. You can reach around and just say a prayer with a normal tanning mitt, or you could splash out on a back applicator. Yep, that's a real thing that does genuinely exist.
Velvotan Self Tan Back Applicator, £4.19 Salon Services
10. Instant tan turning all your clothes orange
Solved: Always choose non-transferable tan.
It sounds like a good idea in theory, but whacking on some instant tan just before you're ready to go out has the potential to go oh so very wrong - especially if you're wearing light colours. Make sure any instant fake tan you opt for clearly says that it's non-transferable, or try something like the Sienna X High Intensity Express 1 Hour tan, which isn't exactly INSTANT, but will mean that you've got a perfect tan that won't rub off by the time you finish your makeup.
Sienna X 1 Hour tan, £24.95
11. Making your face match your body
Solved: Add a facial tanner to your routine.
Stop what you're doing and get the body fake tan AWAY from your poor face. It's a whole different story when it comes to tanning from the neck up, as you need something that won't affect your complexion or make you spotty. We luuurve Madama LA LA's West Coast facial tan, infused with Coco Water & Green Tea to hydrate and brighten with a formula that adapts to all skin tones and develops gradually. Yas.
Madame LA LA West Coast, £25.00
12. Being skint but still wanting a perfect tan
Solved: Well that's easy, there's loads of good, cheap options.
Back in the day, you had no chance of getting a perfect, natural tan unless you wanted to seriously splash the cash, but now there's loads of ace brands that also price their products at a waaay more affordable level. You can check out some of our absolute FAVES here, but tbh we're pretty loyal to the whole Cocoa Brown range. Even the Kardashians love it, so you KNOW it's gotta be good.
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