Golden rules for maximising your summer tan

Want to stay bronzed and beautiful? With this guide holding onto your tan well into autumn has never been easier.

I once went on holiday with a friend whose mother told us, quite seriously, that eating nectarines would make our tans last longer. We ate nectarines for breakfast, lunch and supper that week - and, yes, our lovely, brown skin stayed that way long after we got back home - but there are other, better ways to maintain a tan that don’t involve having to consume your own body weight in stoned fruit.

The secret is in the prep. Getting your skin in tip-top condition means your tan is more likely to stick around long-term.

Start by buying a body brush. The scratchier the better: the sensation should be enough to jolt you out of your early-morning coma rather than so soothing it makes you want to crawl back under the duvet. Try Legology Lymph-Lite Leg Brush which is small enough to take in your carry-on. In the weeks before tanning, sweep the brush (lightly!) from your ankles to your collarbones, always towards the heart.

Next, exfoliate like you've never exfoliated before. Take great handfuls of body scrub and get busy in the shower, paying special attention to knees and elbows. I love Aesop Redemption Body Scrub - otherwise whip one up yourself using a glug of olive oil and some Maldon sea salt - you’ll have never felt skin so silky.

When you hit the beach, go high on the sunscreen. It may sound counter-intuitive, but the tan you get from a high-factor SPF dramatically outlives the tan you'd get using a lower factor. I swear by UltraSun Glimmer SPF50 which makes skin look sort of silvery and air-brushed.

Give a gentle buff, post-sun. Jo Malone Shower Scrub will keep skin glowing.

And don't forget to moisturise. Any aftersun or body lotion will do - otherwise SHOW Beauty Body Shimmer Oil smells like a beach in French Polynesia and has a bronze sheen to it that makes limbs gleam.

Francesca White, Tatler - Beauty Director

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