As the autumn weather sets in and our tans begin to fade, many tanning addicts will turn to self-tanners to top up their sun-kissed glow. With this in mind, we’ve asked Marissa Carter, Founder of Cocoa Brown, to share some of her top tanning tips, including the common mistakes people make and how best to avoid them and achieve a gorgeous glow with a flawless finish. So with the help of a tanning guru, here’s 10 IDEAL Tanning tips for Autumn.

DO USE A TANNING MIT

Tan stained hands are a huge giveaway that your tan might not be real, so using a good quality mitt such is a must. You can also add a small amount of petroleum jelly through your eyebrows to prevent the tan from discolouring them.

DON’T FORGET TO APPLY MOISTURISER

Remember to apply a moisturiser to typically dry areas: Use an oil-free moisturiser such as on your feet, ankles, knees, elbows and hands to ensure a totally smooth application.

DON’T APPLY A TAN WHICH IS TOO DARK FOR YOUR SKIN

So many people apply a tan which is too dark for their skin. However you should embrace your natural complexion by wearing a tan to suit your skin tone. The Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter 1 HOUR TAN MOUSSE comes in four shades to suit all, and can be developed for one, two, or three hours depending on the depth of colour you wish to achieve.

PREPARATION IS KEY

Many people forget to exfoliate before applying their tan which can lead to patchy skin and discoloration. Using the a body scrub 24 hours prior to application will help prevent this.

LET IT DRY

Have you ever had a drink or brushed your teeth just after applying tan only to be left with streaks down your chin? Us too. Let your tan dry before having a drink or brushing your teeth as accidental drips could wash away the colour or leave drip marks. This also applies to tanning with wet hair.

ENHANCE YOUR TAN

Yep, after you’ve tanned you can enhance it. Products like the Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter Golden Goddess Shimmering Dry Body Oil will add an illuminating glow to your bronzed skin. Available in three shades, the oils and instant glamour – and they smell gorgeous too!

AVOID NAIL STAIN

Apply a coat of nail polish to your nails on your hands and feet to prevent tan from staining your nail plates.

AVOID EXAGGERATING THE CIRCLES AROUND YOUR EYES

Again, a little bit of petroleum jelly will stop the tan from further darkening the area – no one wants panda eyes!

WEAR LOOSE CLOTHES

Don’t wearing tight clothing immediately after tanning. Wear loose, dark clothing while the tan is developing and avoid contact with water to minimise any transfer.

DON’T EXFOLIATE TOO SOON

Many people also make the mistake of exfoliating too soon after tanning. The first time you shower after you’ve applied your tan, use shower gel but don’t exfoliate your skin. If you need an emergency fix, use a self-tan eraser which usually work in just five minutes and removes any last traces of tan for perfectly fresh and clean skin.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.