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We're big fans of fake tan. Not only because it gives skin a beautiful golden glow, but because it gives you the look of having sat out in the sun without any of the damage. Learn how to choose the perfect tanner with these tips.

Fake tan is one of our faves. You've probably noticed that we go on about keeping safe in the sun. In fact, we go on about it all the time - but it's because it's so important!

You might think that a gorgeous golden glow makes you look "well" and "healthy" but in fact, a golden tan is a sign of sun damage.

Instead, cheat your way to that healthy glow by using a sunless tanner or a fake tan - much easier than you might think. Whatever you do, don't cheat your way to a tan by using a sunbed. Many people falsely believe that going on a sunbed before you go on holiday provides you with some protection from the sun - but that's completely not true. Getting a tan from a subbed will give your skin an SPF of between 2 and 4 - which is nowhere near enough to protect you in the sun. Sunbeds also use a more concentrated form of UV light, which means that it's also more damaging to your skin than natural sunlight. In other words, don't do it! Now, on with the fake tan!

Which Formula Should I Choose?

There are loads of different fake tans out there - gels, mousses, sprays, creams, BB creams, lotions and tinted moisturizers to name but a few.

The tanner you choose really depends on how much time you have and what you want the end result to look like.

One thing you ideally always need to look for is a colored tanner, which means that you can see it when you apply it - which has two benefits. One, you can see where you apply it which means that you won't miss a spot and two, that you can see any streaks and buff them away before the tan sets. In terms of which formula you should choose, here are a few benefits of each formula:

  • Gel tanner: sinks into skin easily, is tinted so you can see where to apply it and dries quickly. Many gels take up to 8 hours to develop, though, so this isn't a good option if you want an instant tan
  • BB cream: soft and creamy, BB cream tanners act like a foundation for your legs, blurring away imperfections and hiding scars, bumps, lumps and bruises. They're instant, but one problem with them is that they take a little while to dry and they tend to run very easily, so you don't want to wear a BB tanner if you're likely to sweat or if it's likely to rain, as you'll get streaks everywhere
  • Mousse tanner: Mousses are fantastic for people who are new to fake tanning as they're pretty much foolproof. Simply shake and apply wherever you like. Rub in until absorbed and buff away any streaks as you see them. Mousses dry very quickly and they're tinted, too, so you can see where you're putting them
  • Spray tanner: Spray tans are usually clear, so although they're really easy to apply you could miss a spot, leaving you with streaks or white patches
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