Four ways to maximise your holiday tan.
Step 1: Prime
Proper pre-sun exfoliation is essential for maintaining a good tan. Scrubbing away the dead skin cells will leave new healthy ones better prepared for exposure, which will keep your colour looking fresher for longer.
ClarinsMen Exfoliating Cleanser (£20, Clarins)
Step 2: Protect
You may sneer, but the reason your girlfriend applies an SPF (sun protection factor) cream every morning is because skin is always vulnerable to harmful UV rays. Imagine then what roasting your bod on a beach in Mexico will do.
Don't go any lower than factor 30 on your face, opt for at least 20 on your body and reapply regularly. This will not only protect your skin during exposure, but it will also regenerate faster; a better option than searing yourself for an hour and then losing your colour in a few days.
Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 PA+++, (£29, Kiehl's)
Sisley Fluid Body Sun Cream SPF 30, (£82.50, Selfridges)
Step 3: Preserve
A good aftersun lotion is essentially a light moisturiser enriched with ingredients to cool, soothe and reduce the impact of free radicals (atoms with unpaired electrons that can damage skin cells).
Vitamins A and C, aloe vera and argan oil are all good for diminishing signs of aging and helping skin repair itself, so opt for a fortified cream or gel and load up after exposure to the sun.
A tip: when flying, drink plenty of water and apply double the amount of aftersun during the flight — the pressurised, super air-conditioned environment is notorious for drying out skin.
Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm with Aloe (£18.50 Clinique)
Step 4: Pretend
Once your tan does start to fade, don't even consider heading for a sunbed. Not only will it give you that slightly grey, off-orange colour that only an electric beach can achieve, but exposure to such highly concentrated UV rays is also incredibly bad for your skin.
Opt instead for one of a new wave of self-tanning treatments, designed specifically for men. Mix a little non-streak bronzing moisturiser with a blob of your regular face cream to achieve a consistent, subtle, streak-free coverage.
Lab Series BB Tinted Moisturizer (£32, Labseries)
Photograph by Martha Pavlidou