Top tips for your at-home tan

A beautiful, bronzed glow is a short-cut to instant confidence. There’s something about a tan that just makes you feel good. Extensive sun exposure, however, is not so great. That’s where a faux glow comes in.

Self tan can seem like a bit of a minefield. It comes in myriad formulas with something to suit every skin tone, type and application preference. But where do you start? Here’s our picks, along with our simple self-tan routine to help you achieve that golden goddess look.

Preparing your skin

Exfoliation and hydration are key to an even-looking, patch-free tan. Gatineau is our go-to brand here, with a selection of formulas on tap. The AHA Body Treatment Duo features Therapie Corps Energisante Exfoliating Body Polish, which works to slough away dead skin cells with exfoliating blackcurrant fruit powder and AHA, along with the Body Lotion with AHA, which helps to restore any lost moisture while also working to leave your skin feeling smoother. Areas like elbows and knees are stain-prone, so give them a thorough going-over with the exfoliating mitt for soft skin.

Now you’ve scrubbed, it’s time to moisturise to avoid the dreaded streaky finish. Gatineau’s Tan Accelerator is designed for skin pre-sun exposure, but quickly absorbs into the skin and brings a healthy hit of hydration, making it a great choice for self-tan preppers too. Apply to dry skin after exfoliating, focusing on any dry patches, elbows and knees, give it a few minutes to absorb, and you’re ready to go.

Get set, GLOW!

Your next step is to pick your formula, and there’s so many to choose from!

An instant tan takes you to maximum glow in one application, with the colour developing within hours. Just apply a layer, do the classic self-tan waft before getting dressed and voila. The Amanda Harrington Bronze & Blend Body Set is an excellent choice if you feel less confident with application as it goes on with a guide colour. You can see exactly where you have and haven’t tanned, and then you can confidently leave it to do its job.

Last minute party invite, or running a bit behind schedule? The Moroccan Tan Dry Oil is our top pick for those who may (like us!) leave things until the last minute. After application, just wait a few minutes for it to dry, and you’re good to go. You’ll be ready to show off those limbs in no time.

Be sure to use the mitt that comes with these instant tans… your palms will thank us later!

Prefer something more subtle? Gradual and buildable tans work over time and offer more customisation when it comes to colour depth. Tan-Luxe has really nailed gradual tans. The aptly-named Gradual Radiance Tanning Lotion can be used in place of your normal body moisturiser to give a subtle golden glow, while the Super Glow Hyaluronic Serum duo offers an easy-to-use, buildable, natural-looking tan that slips seamlessly into your current routine.

Gradual tanning isn’t just for the body, there’s some great face formulas too. The Tarte Brazilliance Overnight Mask gives you the best of both worlds – instant colour payoff that’s beautifully buildable, while Tan-Luxe’s Pepta-Glow 360 Peptide Creme Gradual Self Tan takes the place of your normal moisturiser for a sun-kissed glow that deepens day by day.

Want your face to have that holiday-fresh look now? Drop formulas like Tan-Luxe’s Anti-Age Rejuvenating Serum Facial Drops or the Bronz Express Magic Radiance Drops are added to your moisturiser and work to give you a glow within a few hours. Plus, they’re simple to use and you can easily control the depth of colour by adding more drops for a deeper tan look.

Keep the glow going

Tan maintenance couldn’t be easier now too. Moisturise daily, exfoliate regularly and top-up your tan as desired. It’s really that simple!

You can check out our full range of self tan here for even more glow-grabbing formulas.