Summer is approaching and in America, that means it’s time to be tan. After our warnings of how harmful the sun can be, the best and safest way to get a tan is by using self tanner. Some may be a little hesitant to use a self tanner because of many concerns like streaking, blotching, getting orange instead of bronze or just plain looking like Carrot Top. Worry no more, by taking precautions and prepping your skin, you can be on your way to the perfect fake tan without the UV exposure. These simple steps will help your self tanning lotions last longer, make application easier and look more natural when you’re done.
Step one: Exfoliate your skin before applying self tanner. This is extremely important before applying self tanning lotion. The key is to get as much of the dead, dull skin cells off your body using a gentle scrub. This makes your skin a refreshed, even canvas before application as well as reduce the chance of the lotion coming off unevenly and it’ll make the sunless tanner last longer. By using a body scrub, I can guarantee that your skin will be glowing and look healthier overall. You can use a body scrub in the shower minutes before applying self tanner. Apply liberally and massage gently in a circular motion for best results. I recommend using a salt or sugar scrub to avoid any harsh chemicals. My two favorites to use are: Eucalyptus Sea Salt Scrub by Sonoma Lavender and Korres Grape Seeds Body Scrub.
Step two: Find a self tanning lotion that is moisturizing and suitable for your skin. This will help with easy application and will nourish your skin instead of harming it. Choosing a self tanner that is vitamin enriched or derived from more natural sources will look more natural and sink into your skin better. Remember: chemicals will react with other chemicals and ingredients. You don’t want to put on a self tanner, then jump into the pool and have the chlorine trigger a chemical reaction with the ingredients in your sunless tan. Natural ingredients work just as well if not better than chemical filled cosmetics and it’s better for your health. My picks in this category are Tarte Cosmetics Sunburst Body Lotion with Self-Tanner and Mystic Tan’s Sunless Tanning Lotion. Tarte’s self tanner isn’t for longevity and it’s for someone that wants some color for about a day or two. I love this formula because it’s enriched with vitamin E and C and is moisturizing, and deeply nourishing while providing a gorgeous bronze color. Plus, it’s fun to put on with the tiny sunbursts! Mystic Tan’s sunless tanning lotion goes on like silk and gives a perfect natural looking tan that lasts. You can decide how dark you want to go and its choc-full of antioxidants, hydrators and nourishing botanicals.
Step three: Take your time! I can’t stress enough to you that you absolutely have to take your time when applying self tanners! If you rush through the process or rush through application and drying, you can leave streaks, blotches and ensure that you’re new fake tan will look FAKE. Start with clean, exfoliated skin, apply liberally and give enough time to let the lotion or cream dry. If you need an extra hand, ask a friend or your significant other to help you get the hard to reach areas. Sunless tanning lotions are easier to apply and cover your entire body to get that streak free “I just went to cabo” tan. Using gloves will also help you not to get “tan hands.” If not, be sure to wash your hands right after application. If not, the tanning lotion can turn the inside of your hands a nasty color, therefore your fake tan will be a secret no more.
Skin care with sun care is the way to go. If you’re ever in doubt, you can always test out what that self tanning lotion will look like exactly on your skin beforehand on a body part that can be easily hidden. There are tons of products out there like sunless tanning wipes and sprays along with a variety of options. If you know you aren’t good with products that spray, use your best judgment and opt for something else. Being comfortable is important at the same time as finding what works best for you. Most of all, when you’re all done, enjoy your hard work and your beachy looking skin. Looks good on you doesn’t it?