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How to Make Your Lockdown Tan Believable, According To An Expert

Because we all know you didn't just step off the plane...

Fake it till you make it.

Social distancing has allowed us to encourage a number of new practices. Some are writing books, others are baking loaves while the rest of us are testing out a myriad of tanning products to find out which one is our ultimate favourite. 

But, similarly to finding love, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your perfect bronze. Streaks may come and streaks may go but tanning in lockdown doesn't have to be a complete mess.

We asked He-Shi tanning expert, Shelley Martin to share her rather ingenious tips that prove it is possible to add a little warmth back into the skin – no holidays necessary. 


It may sound obvious, but if you want your tan to stick around, you need to prep your skin.

"For flawless skin, you need to remove dead skin cells that sit on the top layer of your skin," explains Martin. Applying colour over skin that hasn't been exfoliated will only fade as the cells shed, leaving you with a patchy tan.

You should be gently exfoliating your body "Two-three times a week, concentrating around the knees, back of arms and elbows" recommends Martin.

After scrubbing leave the skin clear of oil and moisturiser. These are what cause streaks and blotches. Clear, clean skin is all you need.


First, choose your shade. If you have fair skin, opt for a light-to-medium formula, and if you have an olive-toned complexion, use a darker formula.

Next, choose your brand.

"When looking at tanning brands be selective and always choose a brand that has added skincare benefits. The better condition your skin is in, the longer your tan will last. He-Shi is a tanning brand that prides itself on offering skincare benefits containing rich moisturising ingredients that will work on the skin whilst offering a natural golden colour," says Martin. 


First thing's first, don't use your bare hands unless you want your palms to look like they belong to an Oompa Loompa. For seamless application, get yourself a mitt which will make light work of bronzing your back. Using a mitt ensures an even, streak-free finish.

"Apply the tan in a circular motion, leave hands, knees, feet and elbows till the end and use the remaining product left on the tanning mitt," recommends Martin. 


Now your tan has developed and you’re happy with the results, the work doesn't stop there. Stay glowing for longer by keeping your skin hydrated.

"Apply body moisturiser daily after showering, this will help with the longevity of the tan. To maximise the benefits of your moisturiser, apply to damp skin. Your moisturiser will glide across the skin and be more easily absorbed," advises Martin. 

Just remember, fake tanning is an art form.  It takes practice, but with the right paint, the right tools and the right technique; you'll totally look like you went on that vacation to the South of France. (Harry Styles and a yacht not included.)

Main image by @matildadjerf

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