If you like to have a bit of a glow all year round (and to be honest, who doesn't?), then the chances are you've had your own self-tan disaster. It happens to the best of us. Perhaps you've picked up a cheap bottle of fake tan that didn't offer even coverage, forgotten to exfoliate your knees or failed to use a mitt and ended up with orange hands, there are plenty of things that could go wrong if you don't prepare properly. However, a golden glow can do wonders for your self-esteem, and sunless tanning is the best way to ensure that your beautiful bronze is as healthy as it looks, whatever the weather.

Choose wisely

If you're going to DIY your tan, the first thing to do to ensure a great, even coverage, is to pick your product carefully. Choose a good quality fake tanning lotion and make sure that it's appropriate for your skin. Check the ingredients to make sure that it's not full of nasties, or anything that's going to bring you out in a rash. Vitamin-enhanced lotions and sprays are ideal, nourishing your skin as you tan.

Prepare to win

Make sure you prepare properly before slathering on the self-tanning lotion or heading for a spray tan. If you're going to remove any hair, now is the time, leaving at least 24 hours between shaving or waxing

and tanning, to help avoid irritation. Use a body scrub or brush to exfoliate properly, taking care to slough off all the dead skin on your knees and elbows. Moisturise well, using a plain gentle lotion, paying extra attention to those knees and elbows to avoid dark patches in these areas.

Apply it like a pro

A spray tan takes the stress out of getting an even glow, but using a lotion or self-tan bronzing mousse is easy when you know how. Make sure you apply your tan with a mitt to ensure that coverage is as smooth and uniform as possible; tanning mitts also help you to catch those hard-to-reach places. If you're struggling to get a uniform coverage, then see if you can get a friend or partner on board to make sure you don't end up with a patchy back.

If you've had bad experiences with self-tan in the past, don't despair, with a bit of preparation and the right equipment, you can get a natural-looking, healthy tan, without hitting the beach or even the salon.

Image by AdinaVoicu via Pixabay