Wednesday, June 15

How to Tan Better

If you're anything like me you're guilty of coveting an enviable tan. I spent much of my teens and early twenties in constant pursuit of this rare and precious post-holiday glow. 

I've tried it all, instant quick tans which ooze thickly out of their squeeze bottle and must NEVER be applied with anything other than a tanning mit (oh the horrors!). If you need a tan in 2 minutes flat I'd recommend Rimmel's Instant Tan. It's the best I've tried and it perfect for nights out when you finally let your pasty legs out for a good old boogie. 

For quick mousse tans I've heard people rave about Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter One Hour Tan Mousse. I've not tried it myself but Millie Mackintosh holds it as her go-to tanner. And if it's good enough for her I think we'd all try it right? At £7.99 from it doesn't break the bank either. 

I've also tried sun beds. Yes, I know. How could I? You're an idiot? They're so dangerous? yes yes. I did use them, and in all truth, I did like them (she won't be saying that in 5 years I hear you whisper). Many people like them too of course, simply because the tan you get inevitably looks natural.. because it kinda is right? 

They're the sort of tan lines you want, as opposed to the "Oh I missed a spot" streaks of fake tans. However, I agree it's not something to do regularly or for long periods of time or without sunbed lotion. Check out this guide to tanning bed lotions for more information. Most smell delish and, because they contain bronze sheens or activating ingredients it means less time on the bed. 

Yet, at the moment I've been loving gradual tan lotions. They've come a long way over the years. No more horrid smells, sticky lotions, brown-tinged bed sheets or deep tanned elbows! Or that is what I've found. Because they're very much like a body lotion you can slip them neatly into you current shower regime without too much hassle.

Although I do follow a fairly strict regime to ensure my gradual tan looks as good as possible. So here is my how to tan better guide. 

How to get the best out of your tan 

First invest in the right tools and products for the job. Exfoliating gloves have to be one of the best inventions of the 21st Century! They're super cheap, brilliantly simple and easy to use and work a treat. You'll find them at almost every department or drug store. Superdrug have some for sale at £2.99. 

Once a week, usually on a Saturday (I'm not sure why) I exfoliate my entire body. It's a habit I made a while back and one I've always stuck too. Getting rid of dead skin whilst boosting your circulation prepares your body to soak in the tan - evading blotchy patches. 

Next choose the right tan. Personally I prefer creams to gels - they absorb better into my skin and are less drippy and gloopy. I'm currently loving Dove's Derma Spa Summer Revived Gradual Tan Lotion for Medium to Dark skin. It retails are £6.99, smells lovely and builds a 'people will ask how you did it' glowing natural tan. I can say that because people really did ask! 

I apply my gradual tan throughout the week. Every time, or every other time I shower (dependent on how my tan is looking of course). In truth you should notice a new glow to your skin after the first few applications. However, after consistent use of gradual tan lotion I was able to build a tan that was natural, even and easy. 

Top 5 Gradual Tanning Hacks 

Although it's gradual and you can apply it with your hands be sure to wash your palms with soap and water afterwards to avoid dreaded tanned palms. By washing palms and finger creases only you can still maintain a tanned look on the backs of hands. 

Pat, instead of rub gradual tan onto your face. It will go on just that little bit thicker giving you a deeper glow. Focus on forehead, tops of cheeks and bridge of nose to mimic where the sun would naturally kiss you skin. 

Don't forget your feet! Rub a little lotion onto each foot and up your ankle. 

Gradual Tanning lotion doesn't mean Sun tan lotion. If you're heading out don't forget to apply sun protection over the top. Tanned and protected perfection.  

Apply lightly but never lather over dry skin areas like elbows and knees. Although there are less tan blotch issues with a gradual tan build up in these areas will still cause you a fake tan faux pas.

What tanning products do you use? 



  1. I love to tan too! I use to use Doves gradual tanner a couple of years ago, the packaging looks like its changed?
    I tend to do a full on tan at the start of the week and then top it up with gradual tanners thought the week. Love the tips lady xx

  2. Thanks for these tips! I'll keep them in mind as I'm also leaning towards gradual tans now after having spent some years frying myself under the sun haha - lesson learnt! So pleased to hear you don't use sun beds anymore by the way :)

  3. I've been looking for a good fake tan for a while now. Thanks for the tips!

    x. Cattleya

  4. Thanks for the tip!! I really like fake tan :) x

  5. I know sunbeds are really bad for you but I have also used them in the past, a few weeks before I go on my summer hols to make sure my skin is prepped and ready for the heat. I also really like the Cocoa Brown tanning products, they're fab! x

    Beauty with charm

  6. I don't bother trying to get a real tan! I love mousse as I find the application the easiest for me to get even.

    Denton & Lou 

  7. Great tips! I never tan in the sun, maybe I should try a gradual tan this summer.


  8. Loved reading about someone else obsessed! We have tried all the brands over the years and it seemed you only got what u paid for until Cocoa Brown came out- we are now converts- it is great in the dark mousse and goes on easily and the colour after application is wearable out (mind your light clothes!) as long as u exfoliate and moisturise well it has been a winner for us!! Thanks so much for writing the post! Lou and Abby at


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