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Your online guide to 2012’s best softening, bronzing and moisturizing body care products

There’s nothing quite like a pamper day: a long, hot soak in a bubble bath, followed by slathering on body lotion, eye cream, fake tan and all those weird concoctions, lotions and potions that your boyfriend just does not understand (boys, there’s a reason we always smell good!)

If you’re anything like us Cafe La Moda ladies, you get easily swayed by gorgeous packaging and promises of transformed skin overnight and forget to buy the product you actually need for you skin type. But we’re here to take the fuss (and temptation!) out of online shopping for body care products. Take a look at our guide to body care shopping before heading over to our comparison pages to find the best deals and offers on your perfect body care products that’ll leave you feeling like a brand new you!

Tips for tanning

Worried about your tan looking streakier than bacon? Worried you’ll look more orange than a Jersey Shore character? Fear not; it’s time to banish those pale legs and pasty bottom so listen up. Fake tans have come leaps and bounds since we first started using them and in 2012 the range of products and wonder ingredients are huge! We’re here with your go-to guide for the perfect tanning experience. Get ready to say bonjour to a gorgeous glow that’ll fool everyone into thinking you’ve been for a long weekend to the Riviera:

  • Exfoliate thoroughly 24 hours prior to tanning, concentrating on your elbows, knees and ankles.
  • Shave on the day you’re tanning so you’re smooth and hair-free - the best base for tan. 
  • You might have read that you should moisturize before applying tan – don’t. Unless you want a light glow rather than a deep bronze only use moisturiser on any dry parts (elbows, knees, ankles) and keep the rest of your body free from any product, including moisturiser,  perfume and deodorant. 
  • Contrary to what you may have heard, latex  gloves are NOT the best applicator for your tan. Instead, buy a tanning mitt because it gives the best, most even results and helps the product sink into the skin. 
  • Start at your feet and work your way up your body when you tan, finishing with you face and hands. This prevents streaks from forming on your stomach when you bend down to do your lower body. 
  • When working tanner into your feet use only a tiny amount and buff into your skin. Use the mitt to buff the tan around your ankles and toes. Use moisturiser over toes, ankles and in between toes to avoid any telltale tidemarks. 
  • Use a back applicator to do your back if you’re not quite flexible enough to get all those hard-to-reach areas. 
  • When applying to your hands and wrists, mix your fake tan with some body moisturiser and work extra lotion into areas such as knuckles, wrists, sides of hands and in between the fingers. 
  • Go for two thin layers of tan rather than one thick layer; you could end up streaky!
  • Give fake tan at least 4 hours to develop. The longer you leave it the better the result. 
  • For the best results, apply your tan before going to bed so that you give it plenty of time to develop to a deep bronze color. Wear loose clothing over the top and protect your bed with an old towel or old sheets. 
  • Most fake tans last five to ten days. Start to exfoliate after around day three to encourage the tan to fade evenly and avoid that yucky patchiness we all hate!
  • For a lighter color opt for a gradual tanner (they’re a bargain for those on a budget looking to buy a cheap product) or mix your tanner with a regular moisturiser to weaken the color of the tanner. 
  • If you hate waiting for your tan to dry compare mousse tanners since they tend to soak in quickly. 

Essential fake tan tools

  • Exfoliating gloves
  • Tanning mitt
  • Latex gloves to wear under mitt
  • Back applicator
  • Moisturiser
  • Vaseline for hairline and nails

Body care product: exfoliator

When skin is oily it has difficulty getting rid of dead skin cells; when skin is dry, dead skin cells accumulate to create a dull tone and prevents moisture from soaking in to the skin. This is where exfoliator, one of our most-loved body care products, comes in. Working to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, exfoliator leaves skin soft and glowing while reducing lines, cellulite and scarring.

  • Team your exfoliating product with an exfoliating mitt or gloves for a double, skin-sloughing whammy. 
  • Exfoliate your skin gently, concentrating on drier areas, and exfoliate in the direction of blood flow. 

Body care product: hand cream 

You may not know it but hands are one of the first parts of the body to show aging. Just think of all the things we put them through on a daily basis: constant washing, using harsh chemicals, tearing, drying, lifting, grabbing, holding. Keep your hands super smooth all year round with our selection of the best hand cream and our guide to finding the right one for your skin type:

  • Look for really moisturizing ingredients such as jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil, shea and avocado oil. Avacado oil is often used in cuticle cream so find a hand treatment containing it and you’ve bagged yourself a two-in-one - no need to thank us!
  • A hand cream with antioxidants and AHA will help prevent wrinkles by protecting the skin from nasties such as free radicals and sloughing away any dead skin.
  • Sunscreen is also a good addition to any hand cream to prevent sun damage.
  • If your hands are really dry, go for a thick emollient-based cream. Oily skin? A lighter oil-free product may be your best option. 

Body care product: body cream

Body cream or lotion should be a basic tenet of your beautifying regime to keep skin soft and supple.

  • If you suffer from dry skin, opt for a thicker formula to keep your skin moisturised for longer. Oily skin needs a light easily-absorbed formula. 
  • Look for hypoallergenic products if you have sensitive or irritable skin; these are free from dyes, fragrances and preservatives. Check reviews to see how others’ have reacted to a product. 
  • You don’t have to take out a small loan to afford good quality  skin care; the cheapest brands have brilliant products and you can get at the best prices by comparing products for body care online. 
  • Look out for samples when you’re shopping online. Many retailers offer trial or sample sizes for free or in offers. 

Body care product: leg and foot care

Leg and foot gels and creams work to revive your achy lower body and pamper tired or swollen legs and feet while leaving your skin soft and refreshed. Leg and foot creams are often quite thick so if you have oily skin, try a gel formula that’s lighter and easily absorbed. 

  • Exfoliate before using your foot and leg body care product. This will help the product sink in and work even harder. 
  • Wear some cotton socks overnight after applying your foot and leg product to really make the cream or gel work. You’ll be surprised by the result!

Delivery and returns

It is always best to check online independent retailers’ delivery and returns policy before buying products for body care. Many retailers will let you return any upopened products before a certain amount of time, while others will let you return a product even if you use it and decide you don't like it.