A tanning treatment colors your skin so that it looks as though you have been evenly basted in the sun and have a "healthy" tan. An application of fake tan in a spa will usually take the form of a spray tan in a booth or tent or an application of a lotion or cream by hand.

What are tanning treatments good for?

A tanning treatment will turn your skin golden brown in a fraction of the time that it would take you to do it naturally. It is also, broadly speaking, a healthier way to tan than planting yourself in the sun for hours at a time.

Many of us feel an urge to sit and bask in the sun when we see it, especially in the UK! The sun and it's ultraviolet (UV) rays can be good for us: the light and warmth can make us feel relaxed and sensual and can increase the release of endorphins, leaving us with a natural "high". UV rays also help our bodies to produce vitamin D, which is necessary for healthy bones and healing scar tissue.

But there's a difference between the sun and tanning. Sun can be good; tanning in the sun is less good. If you lie out tanning in the sun, you're vulnerable to burns and skin cancer. Yet, despite repeated attempts by doctors and the fashion industry to bring in bone-white-skin chic, we still tend to think that everyone looks better with a tan.