The Ultimate Tanning Guide

First off I’d like to make a disclaimer that I’m no expert on tanning and by no means am I trying to be the next Sandra McClumpha (FakeBake founder – yes had to google it I’m not a tanning psycho). However, if you’re new to tanning or aren’t having much luck with it, I thought I’d make a cheeky little tanning post with all the tips and tricks to become the bronzed goddess I know you are.

Don’t be drawn in by the expensive brands

I’ve tried brands like St Tropez and FakeBake before but unfortunately, I’ve always felt disappointed by the lack of quality (and biscuit smell). They may take up half the self-tan aisle and have exciting products like “body polish” and “1-minute express tans” but don’t be fooled: they’re not as good as they seem. Some people swear by these brands whereas I simply don’t – they’re too expensive for what they are (£30ish for a basic tanning lotion) and there are cheaper alternatives out there.

Introducing…..Superdrug’s own brand, Solait. This brand is the best I have EVER used and at a cool £4.99, you can’t go wrong really. They’re not streaky or too sticky, dry quickly, and look insanely natural. I tend to use the foam because I find this easier to blend, but they do have a lotion and even wipes if you’re into that.

Moisturise and exfoliate!!!

A lot of fake tan brands will tell you to do this, then you don’t because you’re lazy (or is that just me?!),  and you’ll end up with patchy elbows and knees and a lot of regrets. This step seriously is important if you want a flawless non-streaky tan. Too many times my elbows have been a different colour to the rest of my arms and I’ve had to awkwardly wear jumpers to cover it, which just defeats the whole point of having tan on in the first place. You don’t need to go to town on the exfoliation and dry scrub your whole body, just make sure your elbows/shins/knees/wherever are smooth enough so the tan won’t stick in the dry areas. Thank me later.

Use a face tan for your face

Damn Meg, using a face tan…..for your face?! Genius. But seriously, do buy a tan specifically made for your face and use it. Too many times have I  used my normal tan on my face only for it to turn into a disaster. I always find that fake tans for your body just can’t seem to tackle eyebrows and hairlines. I swear by James Read’s sleep mask, which I have also mentioned here (told you I love it). It applies like a serum and doesn’t smell like a tan at all. As it’s made specifically for the face it isn’t harmful to sensitive skin and gives you such an amazing subtle glow. There are plenty more face tans out there, but I’ll be honest and say that I’ve only tried James Read purely because it’s so good I don’t need any other option!

Tan before bed, shower in the morning

This method is the best method if you’re just casually tanning and don’t need to be tanned IMMEDIATELY. I find applying tan quite relaxing actually and it’s nice to wind down before bedtime with a nice bronze glow. Just make sure you don’t wear nice pyjamas because the tan will come off on them and what once was a white t-shirt will turn orange. This doesn’t mean your tan is coming off and it’ll be ruined forever, it’s just the excess that comes off as you sleep. When you shower in the morning, your tan has had enough time to develop, dry and sink into your skin, leaving a nice natural colour. It is sad seeing the top layer going down the drain in the shower though. I always hate that bit 😦

If you’re worried, start small

And finally, if you’re worried about the whole tanning thing, start off small by using a tinted moisturiser. Garnier’s Summer Body is a really nice place to start, as it literally applies and smells just like a moisturiser but gives you a nice little glow and tan once it’s settled. You don’t even have to use a tanning mitt for this either. I used this product before I even attempted full on tanning and it helped build up my confidence to use a proper fake tan. Whatever works for you!


I hope you liked reading this guide and it’s helped you somewhat. What do you guys use to tan? Am I missing any good tricks? Let me know! x

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