With the weather in the UK being less than sunny, many people turn to various products to achieve a sunless tan. According to a 2015 research led by NPD Group Inc., a global information company, the sunless tanning products market has reached £3.5 million and was expected to continue growing, with London being the most popular region being responsible for over 21% of the whole marketplace.

This high demand gave birth to a very diverse market with millions of products to choose from. Here is where the process can become tricky for many people and there are a couple of aspects one should bear in mind before kick starting the process.

Every one of us has a perfect colour tone in mind when it comes to tanning – some people might prefer a sun-kissed kind of nuance, while others prefer a chocolatey shade. Usually, it is recommended to get the colour that appears most natural on your skin tone. During winter time, lighter shades are recommended, while summer allows more freedom in terms of darker tints. As a general rule, one should always go for a lighter formula when unsure of what tan would be the best fit as it is much simpler to go darker gradually.

The shades, the skin types and the options

Tanning, regardless if it’s natural or artificial, is never a one-size-fits all. There are roughly four major skin types and their variations, and one should bare this in mind when selecting a product. The first one would be the pale skin and the most often mistake made here is trying to overpower the tone potentially leaning towards orange, instead of complimenting it with a sort of light touch kind of tanning solution.

The second type is usually most common among redheads and freckled people, who are usually susceptible to burn first and only afterwards start breathing some colour into the skin. A third one refers to the light brown skin that typically never burns, and tans fairly quickly in comparison to other types. While the last one refers to dark-skinned people with deeply pigmented skin.

Another decision one will have to make is choosing between in-salon spray tanning or at home. If you feel confident enough to do it by yourself, make sure you follow the instructions carefully. Exfoliate a good couple of hours before applying the spray and wax at least 24 hours before, even the best spray will make your skin look lizard-like and streaky if the skin has not been properly prepped.

Should you be more inclined to do it professionally, there are dozens of tanning salons that you can go to. It is important to research each of them individually, their personnel and the products they use to avoid disappointing results. The price range varies from one city to another, and even from one neighbourhood to another and paying a large amount of money won’t necessarily guarantee the perfect bronze. Spray tanning might not sound ideal, but it might be the only option when natural UV light is impossible to get.  So if you do decide to use it, make sure you handle it with caution.