If it’s bronzed skin that you’re after, you might want to find out exactly how to fake the perfect tan before you get that self-tanner out…

Spring has sprung, which means we can no longer hide our entire bodies under layers and layers of clothing. And now that you have to show off some skin, you might be considering getting yourself a bit of a bronzed glow.

These days, a self-tan can look just as natural as the real deal (and has the bonus of not spending hours under the harmful sun), so long as you avoid making some serous faux paus.

Here’s how to make sure you fake the perfect tan every time…

Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!

You can’t expect your tan to look smooth and even if your skin isn’t, nor can you expect it to last when those dead skin cells finally fall off, taking your new tan with them.

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Before you even think of applying self-tan to any part of your body, make sure you give the area a really good exfoliation session; it’s the best way to ensure a natural, even tan.

Don’t forgot those inconspicuous areas

Ever admired someone’s incredibly tanned legs, but then notices that their ankles and feet are an entirely different colour? Or wondered if someone has been doing some serious leaning on their elbows because they don’t look like they belong to the same body as the rest of the arms? Make sure you don’t make the same mistakes and pay attention to places like your ankles, feet, elbows, neck and top of your hands.

Plan your shaving time

You obviously want to apply self-tan to smooth legs, which means you’ll need to shave or wax beforehand.

But have you ever noticed tiny dark brown spots on your legs after a self-tan application?

That’s because you didn’t give yourself enough time between shaving and tanning, and the pores of the hairs were still open, allowing the product to filter in.

Give yourself at least a day between hair removal and tanning, and you should be fine.

Tan your body in the way the sun does

Certain parts of your body are less exposed to the sun than others, which means they are naturally lighter, no matter what time of the year it is.

The insides of your arms, for example, are generally lighter than the rest, and your palms aren’t bronzed like the other side of your hands.

Consider diluting your fake-tan with moisturiser when covering these areas for a more realistic tan.

Is your skin dry or dehydrated?

Give yourself time

The biggest mistake most of us make it applying the tanner at the last minute, which means you are super rushed.

This is when you miss certain areas of your body, give yourself tanning streaks and get product all over your clothes.

Try set aside a decent amount of time, allowing you to prep your skin, carefully apply the tanner, allow it to dry and develop and then remove the excess.

When your tan is all kinds of flawless, you’ll be glad you were super patient!