Elle Ferguson is the epitome of an Australian beach babe with her tousled beach waves, radiant skin, and of course, her always-flawless tan that has become her signature. So much so that she’s bottled it for all to enjoy. \nWe caught up with the founder and creator of Elle Effect to chat about how to perfect a faux bronze glow, her DIY remedy for removing a self-tan disaster, and why the best tan is a fake one.\n[divider-1]\nPrep is key\nElle’s number one non-negotiable step prior to tanning is exfoliation. “I have to say, the one thing they don’t tell you is that the perfect tan is all about the prep. We spend so much time learning about the skin on our face that we forget to apply the fundamentals to our body,” shares Elle. \n“Exfoliating is key as it removes any build-up of dead skin cells so that the tan will blend and be absorbed more easily.” Elle continues, “focus on rough spots like elbows, knees, ankles and heels as self-tan notoriously collects around these areas.”\n[image-grid-1]\nOUR TOP EXFOLIATING PICK: Salt by Hendrix Body Polish\n\nHow you apply your tan matters\n“I like to apply tan with a tanning mitt and go in circular motions; and I always say blend, then blend, then blend some more,” reveals Elle. “The Elle Effect Tans were formulated to be layered so you can tailor your glow according to how you feel and how deep you want the tan to be,” she adds.\n\nOUR TANNING MITT PICK: Elle Effect The Luxe Applicator Mitt \n\nNatural tan vs. faux tan\nThe best tan is a fake tan, according to Elle. “When I was about 13 my mum said to me the secret to staying young is sunscreen. She always covered my sister and I in zinc.”\n“The only way you should be tanning out is if you are covered in a high SPF, under a beach umbrella and with a hat on. Nobody wants to look like that lady from Something About Mary. Nobody.”\n[image-grid-2]\nOUR TOP SPF PICK: The Kind Sunscreen\n\nHow to avoid a tanning mishap\nEveryone has had a tanning disaster at some time or another (yes, even Elle!). For such an occasion, try Elle’s DIY home remedy. “If you don’t have a tan remover on hand, oil is your best friend. Think coconut oil or any other oil and get rubbing.” \n[divider-2]\nElle’s top 5 tips on how to tan like a pro\n1 \/ Exfoliate weekly to give your skin the perfect base to apply self-tan.\n2 \/ Don’t have long showers as the hot water will dry out your tan.\n3 \/ Avoid oil-based moisturisers as they tend to strip your skin.\n4 \/ Wait at least one hour after your shower to apply your tan as this gives your skin’s pH time to level out.\n5 \/ Opt for a hyaluronic-based body moisturiser to make your tan last that little bit longer.