You look beautiful with a gorgeous tan. Resorts cruise ships and tanning salons all know this and tempt you with a siren’s song of lying out and turning a beautiful golden tan.
But we all know the risks by now. We have all been duly informed of the dangers from burns to cancers to premature wrinkling. And with the thinning of the ozone levels, you are exposed to more UV rays than ever. Yes, sun tanning definitely takes it’s toll on your skin… and your health.
Sunless Tanning is a safe alternative to UV Exposure
With a little preparation and planning, getting that perfect tanning can now be done easily and retaining the health of your skin.
There are many self tanners on the market from which to choose. Most self-tanners now days will provide you with an instant bronze glow upon application. This is often referred to as a “guide”.
The brown stain is a guide to let you know where you are applying so that you get a nice even application. It is important to not shower for at least 5-6 hours after application in order for the color to develop. It is normal to see some of that pigment come off in the shower. Not to worry!
The end result is a beautiful golden color that is left on the skin. If you would like a deeper tan, you may reapply the next day and so forth until you achieve the color that you like. I like to have all my supplies that I will need for my tanning treatment all close at hand before I begin.
Start with your Skin
Exfoliation is critical to best results!
This definitely means shaving beforehand and using a gentle granular exfoliating scrub all over the body.
I am also fond of using the little stretch gloves that you can purchase at the drug store in the beauty department. I keep mine in the shower and use them with soap in place of a washcloth. These steps will help to remove dry and dead skin cells ensuring that you will get a more even and streak free end result.
Pay close attention to elbows, knees and feet.
These areas tend to be drier than other parts of the body and therefore make the skin more porous. If the skin isn’t properly exfoliated the self-tanner will adhere more in those areas creating a dirty uneven look. Once you have dried your skin thoroughly after this process, we recommend that you apply a moisturizing lotion to dry areas such as elbows, knees and feet--- don’t forget your ankles!
Prepare the Area
First you want to prepare the area you will be working in. Self-tanning can leave stubborn stains so I recommend that you lay newspaper or other protection on the floor and surfaces you will come in contact with. Don’t forget to wear gloves or the palms of your hands may be the ultimate giveaway that your tan came from a self-tanner.
Apply to Legs, Torso then Arms
You should always work from the ankles up. This will result in a more natural looking tan. Following the product’s instructions is also very important.
You should not apply self-tanner to your toes, heels or sides of your feet, as these areas don’t normally receive much tan.
Hands are also tricky. I do my hands last. I apply a small amount of tanner like I would normal hand lotion. I then take a moist cloth or handiwipe and remove the tanner from the palms of my hands. Then I take a cotton swab to clear away any tanner that got past the cuticles.
Apply to Face and Neck
It is always best to start by applying it to the natural places you tan. Forehead, cheeks, chin and your nose are areas that will darken easily so use sparingly.
Hint: Put some petroleum jelly on your eyebrows to ensure that that area won’t darken too much.
Time to Wait
While you are waiting for the perfect tan, here are a few DON’TS:
- Immediately put on clothing. It will streak your tan and stain your clothing. Wait at least an hour.
- Don’t sweat. Imagine you just painted a masterpiece and are waiting for the paint to dry so try to avoid any activity that will make you moist.
- Bath or shower for the next 8 hours.
- Exfoliate or use Retinol for several days
Review your Tan
If you found that you missed a spot or two, don’t worry. Just put on some clean gloves and re-apply to those areas.
If you found an area that is a bit too dark, you can always scrub the spot in the shower until it lightens. If that doesn’t work, you can use a little lemon juice. Just put it on the spot for about 20 minutes and then wash it off.
Keeping Your Beautiful Tan
Remember, that as your top layer of skin dries and begins to flake, your tan will begin flaking and falling away too. But you can make it last longer.
Moisturize your skin every day and use sunscreen whenever you go outside. Even with a sunless tan, your skin needs to be protected from the sun’s UV rays every day.