In order for your skin to achieve that sun-kissed shine it'll need to undergo some pretty serious UV exposure, and this is bad news as it causes changes in the skin cells and increases the risk of skin cancer. When your skin is exposed to sunlight it produces a pigment called melanin to protect itself. Whilst this helps to stop it burning so easily, it can't protect you against the sun's other damaging effects, which include cancer and premature ageing. So if you want to avoid having skin like leather, faking it is most definitely the way forward.
So what are the options to ensure that you end up looking like a bronzed Brazilian beauty rather than the lovechild of Vanessa Feltz and David Dickinson?
Firstly, forget the sun bed – they can speed up the thinning of the skin, cause you to develop wrinkles and fine lines as well as other changes generally associated with ageing.
Fake-tans generally consist of either dyes or chemicals that react with your skin to cause a colour change. Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is a chemical discovered in the 1920's that reacts with Keratin Protein to change the top layer of skin colouring, lasting about a week. Recently moisturisers have been developed that include fake tan as well, and most dermatologists have given these the thumbs up.
Just remember that if you're using fake tan products you must still take care in the sun. That doesn't mean you have to dress up like a ninja when you hit the beach this summer, but always use a generous amount of SPF 15 sunscreen or above, and check that it blocks UVA and UVB rays. Elephants are great, but no one wants to have skin like one so be sun smart and you can flaunt your gorgeous bods until the sun goes down.