I’m a massive fan of fake tan. Always have been, always will be. So much so that I constantly have a full body tan on, I can almost do it with my eyes closed at this stage. So it’s safe to say that over the past 11/12 years of wearing tan, I’ve picked up a few tips along the way. Granted, I probably shouldn’t count the first couple of years because the layers and layers of Sally Hansen spray was just a big disaster. But I’d like to think I know a bit more now! Especially when it comes to how to make your tan last longer. So here’s how I make my tan looking fresh and lasting as long as possible.

Prep

First thing’s first, make sure all your old colour is off. But more on that later. Moisturise your elbows, hands, knees and anywhere else you might have rougher skin. If you’re just hopping out of the shower, make sure to run the cold water over you to close any pores.
If you’re tanning for something special, and don’t want to go as far as two layers, but always think your legs don’t develop as well, here’s the trick. A couple of days before you tan, use a daily moisturiser that has a hint of fake tan in it. This will give you a slight colour so the layer of tan will stick easily. Voila!
Always tan from the ankles up, so you’re not bending over any tan you’ve already done. Plus, make sure you have a brush on hand to tan your hands, around your ears, etc. There’s nothing worse than a tanned face and body, with glowing white ears.

Maintain

Unfortunately, you can’t just slap on a bit of tan and let it do it’s own thing until it’s time to come off. The better you take care of your tan (or your own skin, even) the longer it will last.
I’m a big fan of the Garnier Summer Body Moisturising Lotion. I wrote all about in the 10 Beauty Products That Are Getting Me Through Quarantine. It’s ideal for moisturising daily, keeping your tan looking fresh, or even building up a colour. Your skin feels amazing, and it smells fab too. Win-win. But one thing with this is that you need to give your hands a good wash after, especially in between your fingers. Trust me, it’s not a good look.
The more moisturised your skin is, the more your tan will last looking well, and the easier it will be to take off too. So each night, take two minutes to slap a bit of this on. You’ll be thankful you did when your tan is looking better than ever.
For my hands, I always find that’s where it wears off there the quickest. For obvious reasons really, we wash our hands a whole lot more than our legs or arms (especially these days!). Usually, I’ll take off the tan on my hands more often than I would the rest of my tan. Then, I coat my hands in moisturiser and use a couple of sprays of SOSU Tanning Water, and spread it over my hands using an old kabuki brush. It works wonders, and only takes literally two minutes.
Lately, I’ve been using the St.Tropez Self Tan Purity Vitamins Bronzing Water Face Serum because I haven’t been wearing makeup everyday. So that my face isn’t a completely different colour to the rest of me. One pump is enough to give your face a gorge natural colour. It feels amazing going on and it’s packed with actual skincare ingredients, so there’s no pore blocking. Exactly what you want from a facial tanner.
Also, for daily showers (you know, just a body shower rather than the whole hog) try not to have the water as hot as you normally would. The warmer the shower, the easier your tan will runoff. Every little helps!
So all in all, think cool showers, daily moisturiser, and keep your hands looking fresh with wonder water and moisturiser.

Removal

Removing your tan is just as important as anything else when it comes to keeping it fresh looking. Basically, if there’s any leftover, scaley looking tan, your fresh layer just isn’t going to look good, or last well.
The key to removing tan easily is keeping it moisturised. If your skin is hydrated, it’ll be a whole lot easier when it comes to removal.
If you’re wearing a lot, try a foam remover first. I love the St.Tropez Fake Tan Remover & Primer Mousse, or the Cocoa Brown Fresh Start mousse for a bargain version. I’ve been obsessed with the St. Tropez foam remover since I got it. It smells amazing, feels silky smooth going on, and does exactly what it says on the tin. It soaks away you’re tan so that when you get into the shower with yourself exfoliating glove, it almost glides off.
Then, if there are any stubborn areas, like your knees and elbows, go over them with a body scrub and your exfoliating glove. Hands down, the best body scrub for removing tan is Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff. I’ve been using it for at least five years and it’s still my fave.
After you’re free of everything, lash on the moisturiser. Or, if you’re opting for another layer, just put moisturiser on your elbows, knees, anywhere that your skin is a little tougher. Then moisturise your tan daily and you’re good to go!

Read Next: 7 Of My All-Time Favourite Primers

*I received some of these products as press samples, from my actual 9-5 job*
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