Brigit Grant lines up the facts and factors on fake tan495011147 hi-res

As Hebrews originating from Abraham’s home in Ur, it’s hardly surprising that a lot of Jewish people like to sit in the sun.

In the 1970s, it was unthinkable for us to return from a holiday abroad with anything less than skin the shade of a walnut and, down in Bournemouth, balconies were lined with women holding aluminum reflectors under their chins.

We’ve wised up since then and now know the damaging effects of prolonged exposure to the sun, but that doesn’t mean we’ve given up on colour and the potential to maintain it.

As we are all busy most of the time, getting your face and body in shape for summer is done in haste, but there are fast-track treatments and DIY home products to sort you out in time.

At the Hilltop Salon in Highgate (020 8340 1443), Amanda Bayes runs the kind of operation that is perfect for women who need to look and feel better before emerging make-up free on holiday.

Over the years, she has been approached by countless beauty companies which believe they have the best potions and equipment to improve skin, but she has never swayed from her commitment to French company Guinot and uses its products for all her facials.

“My recommendation for a real skin boost ahead of a holiday is our Hilltop Deluxe facial,” she suggests, referring to the combined Guinot hydradermie lift with the Endermolift programme. In a nutshell, the two-hour facial is the closest thing to having a facelift with all the benefits and none of the pain.

Without going into too much of the science, after a deep cleanse, the electrode equipment does the drainage and takes the stress and tension out of your face, smoothing as it goes and then the Endermolift is used to stimulate collagen and elastin, which needs boosting before tanning.

The best part of the treatment is the face slimming as it targets a double chin and the improvement is visible immediately – honestly. For a sustained result, you need to sign up for 10 sessions, but as a pre-holiday fix it does a temporary lift and your skin looks remarkably healthy make-up free.

Leave it at home

If you don’t want to drag your tired old skin cells on holiday, but are on a buffing budget, exfoliate at home. Buffing body and face allows your tan – whether real or fake – to be more even and last longer. It also helps reduce cellulite by breaking up fat deposits, unblocks pores and stops ingrown hairs. Remember to take extra care with the décolletage and around the eyelids, where the skin is thinnest and avoid heat post exfoliation.

The Best of the BuffersMalki Dead Sea Body Scrub

Malki Dead Sea Body Scrub, £7.79 (Boots) The highly concentrated minerals – salts with Frankincense aromatherapy oil – work on stressed skin and help sufferers of eczema and psoriasis. For sensitive skin it’s a classic exfoliator.

MERUMAYA Skin Brightening Exfoliating Peel, £19.50 (John Lewis) A potent mix of pomegranate enzymes and glycolic acid that reveals much brighter skin and a pre-tan glow.

St. Ives Apricot scrub, from £4.29 (Boots) is one from a range of the company’s reliable over-the-counter exfoliators that won’t break the bank. Sweet-smelling, super-effective and easy to pack.

Tan & Go

If the sight of translucent white skin on the first day of a holiday makes you queasy, avoid it by applying some fake tan after exfoliating. The hideous smell and ochre tinge has been replaced by fragrant products that don’t leave tide-marks on the skin or the sheets.

Kerstin Florian, £35.75 (www.kerstinflorian.co.uk) Noted for its quality products, this fake tan is a sweet almond oil and shea butter formula, which hydrates and smooths skin while stimulating oxygenation. The tan it delivers is very natural.Kerstin Florian

Skinny Tan, from £14.99 (skinnytan.co.uk) A sensation in Australia where it was created, this product’s big boast is that it improves the look of cellulite, contours muscles and the range includes an Ab-shader for men to give the illusion of a six-pack when applied correctly.

Time Bomb Holiday In A Bottle, £28 (QVC) Providing a hit of instant colour, this is ideal for those who don’t like to go out barefaced, but don’t like make-up on holiday. Containing micro-pigments that burst on touch, the colour spreads evenly and gives your face a model sun-kissed look.

Madame LA LA, £36.00 (Fenwick) Described as a DD (dynamic do-all), this fake tan is made in LA and contains coco water, aloe, Vitamin E and green tea. As much about caring for the skin as turning it Malibu mocha, this is a year-round product that fades like a natural tan, which is a plus.

Time Bomb Holiday In A BottleUTAN Mousse, £22 (QVC) Gives you a hint of a tint on application and then gets deeper over three to four hours. Easy to apply with a sniffable scent.

For All My Eternity, from £17.99 (www.ForAllMyEternity.com) The name could be a love song, but don’t let that distract you as the product is amazing, organic and available for a range of skin shades. Provider of the most convincing fake tan, you might not even have to go away.

St Moritz Instant Wash Off Shimmer Tan, £4.99 (Tesco) If you are only interested in a temporary tan for a function or for those first few days on the beach, this is perfect. It goes on streak-free, flawless and washes off at the end of the day. The range also includes a prolonging exfoliator, which is excellent.St Moritz Instant Wash Off Shimmer Tan

For a quick reminder about the risks of too much sun, Deborah Forsythe, a medical aesthetic practitioner with expertise on age management and facial rejuvenation, sheds some light…

UVA and UVB, damage the skin, ageing it prematurely, and increase the risk of skin cancer.

UVB is the chief culprit behind sunburn, while UVA rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply, are associated with wrinkling, leathering, sagging, and other light-induced effects of aging. The carcinogenic effects of UVB rays are seen as a cause of skin cancer on their own.

SPF Sunscreens prevent UVB from damaging the skin. SPF 15 filters out approximately 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays, so if it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer – about five hours. SPF 30 keeps out 97 percent and SPF 50 about 98 percent. The differences are negligible, but if you are light-sensitive, or have a history of skin cancer, those extra percentages will make a difference.

No sunscreen can block all UV rays or be expected to stay effective longer than two hours without reapplication. Children under the age of six months should not be exposed to the sun, since their skin is highly sensitive to the chemical ingredients in sunscreen as well as to the sun’s rays. Shade and protective clothing are the best ways to protect infants from the UVA and UVB photoaging.

To ensure you get the full SPF of a sunscreen, you need to apply 1oz – about a shot glass full for the body and a teaspoon for the face and each limb. Studies show most people apply only half to a quarter of that amount, which means the actual SPF they have on their body is lower than advised. During a long day at the beach, one person should use around one half to one quarter of an 8oz bottle. Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin. Reapply the same amount every two hours and immediately after swimming or sweating.

• For more information or to find out about treatments at Deborah Forsythe Clinics, call 01564 777839 or visit www.deborahforsytheclinics.com