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This summer has seen some sizzling weather, with some of the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the UK, multiple heatwaves and lots of sunny weather.

But as we enter September, plavix and stroke winter is now quickly approaching and we're set to see less sun and a lot more gloomy British weather, which means that sun lovers will unfortunately have to wave goodbye to their natural tans.

As we head into cooler months lots of people will be looking for ways to top up their summer tans in hopes of keeping them lasting as long as possible, and for some this means turning to sunbeds.

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However, experts have advised against using sunbeds, warning that they can be extremely dangerous.

Here's why sunbeds can be so bad for you and how to achieve a natural looking tan in the winter without them.

How harmful are sunbeds?

According to experts fromDermalogica, sunbeds should be avoided at all costs because of the dangers that come with their intense UV rays.

Victoria Evans, Education Manager at Dermalogica said: “Sunbeds are not safe and that’s a fact. There is so much evidence to prove sunbeds give out the same harmful UV rays as the sun but at a much greater intensity, often 10-15 times higher than the midday Mediterranean sun. "

Victoria explained that sunbeds are classed as a Group 1 carcinogen, the highest cancer risk category, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and that they "dramatically" increase your risk of cell damage and skin cancer.

She also added that they can have detrimental effects on your physical appearance, as well as health, saying: "The damage from each sunbed session will accumulate in the skin and over time develop into visible signs of premature ageing, sagging, wrinkling and uneven skin tone. Worst case scenario skin cancer can develop."

How to get a tan in winter

While avoiding sunbeds is a smart move, you might still want to get the look of a natural tan during the winter months and this can still be done using fake tan.

According to tanning company St Tropez there's a few key steps that you can follow to achieve a natural looking tan during winter.

Step 1 — Exfoliate

Exfoliation is always an important step when it comes to self tanning in, but it's particularly vital in the winter with St. Tropez saying: "As the weather turns cold, skin becomes drier, which can cause tan to look patchy."

They say that 24 hours before tanning you should exfoliate your body carefully, paying close attention to dry areas like ankles, feet, knees and elbows.

Step 2 — Moisturise

Because fake tan can cling to dry skin, it's also important to moisturise before tanning.

St Tropez advise: "Use a moisturiser every day in the week leading up to tan application, then moisturise very dry areas, such as elbows, knees, ankles, feet and hands, 2 to 3 hours before tanning."

Step 3 — Take a slow approach

Another part of making your tan look more natural during the winter months, is to take a more gradual approach to tanning, rather than applying a dark tan all at once.

St Tropez said: "By applying a tanning lotion every day, you’ll build your colour over time, creating a more subtle look."

Step 4 — Use products with vitamins and hydration

The tanning brand also revealed that "there are huge benefits to using a self tanning product enriched with skin-nourishing ingredients" throughout the winter.

Fake tans with formulas that include Hyaluronic Acid or vitamins C and D can help to boost the radiance of dry skin.

Step 5 —Target specific areas

The good news when it comes to fake tanning in the winter is that you don't need to tan your whole body.

Unlike during the summer months, you're likely to be more covered up during winter and this means that you can save precious time by targeting specific areas.

St Tropez explained: "As your Winter wardrobe won’t be as revealing as your Summer one, you don’t necessarily need to tan from head to toe. Focusing on the arms, hands, decolletage, neck and face should suffice."

However, the also reminded tanners not to forget their face too, which is particularly important in the winter with the rest of your body being more covered up.

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