10 Steps to the perfect tan

Thanks to beauty products that range from bronzers to fake-tan, we can get a healthy glow all year round. No longer is a handsome tan restricted to the months of June and July.

<--break->“>It’s easy to get a nice colour without paying the high price of unhealthy skin. Jade Phillips, a beautician at Superdrug, Kingston, recommends using Saint Tropez for a natural-looking tan, but favours Rimmel instant for a quick fix. She advises blending bronzer into the tan to avoid harsh make-up lines and making the colour look more natural.</p>

<p>For those on the quest for the perfect tan, follow these 10 easy steps for a healthy, gorgeous glow:</p>

<p>1- Never, ever, ever use a sunbed. Four in ten women regularly expose themselves to the dangers of sunbeds despite years of warnings and horror stories. This shocking and disturbing fact sets off alarm bells of danger to every dermatologist in the country. Dangers associated with using sunbeds include skin cancer, UV damage, eye damage, suppressed immune system and premature aging.  </p>

<p>2- Don’t expose your skin to too much sun in an attempt to get the perfect tan. Research suggests that over-exposure to sun can be more damaging to the skin than smoking. Celebrities in Hollywood, such as Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston are so conscious about sun damage to their skin that they wear sunscreen indoors to tackle the rays that come through the windows. If it works for Julia, I’m giving it a shot! Sunshine is important for our bodies to get vitamin D, which helps absorb calcium-the anti-osteoporosis mineral. But for flawless skin, make sure you always protect it! If you don’t want skin that looks like leather, stay out of the sun, or else use sunscreen. Use make-up that has an SPF protection in it as well. If you don’t want to look like you splashed olive oil on your face because of the shiny film that some sun-creams leave, tackle this with powder foundation after your normal make-up routine.</p>

<p>3- Most of the stars and models in Hollywood, such as Cheryl Cole, have great tans, but here’s their secret-they fake it! “Ninety per cent of tanned models use fake tans. In fact, most supermodels are very pale as designers and photographers don’t want them tanned,” says Mags Humphries of Assets Model Agency.  So if you’re going to tan, don’t get your tan from harmful UV rays, get it out of a bottle instead!</p>

<p>4- The power of Sally Hansen is something I’ll always swear by. It has a firming appearance on the legs to tackle cellulite, and a nice tan has a slimming appearance on your figure. If you think about it, using fake tan is putting chemicals directly onto your skin and unlike make-up, it stays on your skin for more than one day. So, for the healthiest option in the line of fake tans, chose ‘Tan Organic’. This product is a Dragon’s Den success story and has become a sensation in beauty salons across the nation. Use a hand glove or mit-available at Boots- when applying fake tan to avoid miners hands.</p>

<p>5- Orange-peel your hands with baby wipes if you forgot your mit.</p>

<p>6- If you have red hair, you’ll be turning away more than sailors if you have a cinnamon colour on your skin. Red-heads rarely tan so if you want to use a bit of fake-bake, use sparingly. Nicola Roberts, Christina Hendricks and Nicole Kidman are the hottest red heads around that proved embracing your natural skin tone pays off.</p>

<p>7- Painting yourself a deep shade of mahogany isn’t going to be believable or natural looking. Try to aim for a warm glow, not a strong shade of terracotta.</p>

<p>8- Moisturize your knees, elbows and any other joints because fake tan tends to stick to these parts and are an instant give-away to your fraud skin tone!</p>

<p>9- Try bronzer over your normal foundation so that your face doesn’t look three shades paler than your newly tanned arms and legs. Apply bronzer on the parts of your face that the light hits, like the apples of the cheeks, down along the nose and across the forehead for the most natural-looking finish.</p>

<p>10- Always remember, the worst type of fake-tan comes from a build-up of old tan, when new tan sticks to the old tan. This results in an oopah-loompah effect, where the skin looks dirty rather than tanned, and the wearer looks like they rolled around in Doritos. To avoid this problem, exfoliate in the shower until you’re back to your natural skin tone. If you want your tan to look most natural and even, moisturize when you step out of the shower and your pores are open. Wait for the moisturizer to soak into the skin and then slap the tan on!</p>

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