Even if you are unable to spend time outdoors during the summer or take a holiday to a warm location due to one reason or another, you can still spot a tan, thanks to sunless tanning. With that in mind, here are 15 sunless tanning tips to help you get the perfect tan.
1. Choose the Right Product
Although the market is full of self-tanning products, don’t purchase the first one you come across. To be on the safe side, go for a reputable brand with low DHA percentage that will produce a realistic tan. If you are aiming for a bronze tan, choose a product that contains erythrulose. I recommend: Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning or St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse. Both have left me looking like I just returned from a weekend vacation and they didn’t make me smell like other tanners have.
2. Type of Self-Tanner
If you have never self-tanned before or only done so a few times, go for a gel or easy-to-apply mousse because these types are generally easy to apply evenly all over the body. Experienced self-tanners can purchase aerosol sprays.
For the best results, exfoliate before self-tanning to get rid of dead skin cells that make up much of the outer skin layer. If you don’t, you could start seeing streaks one day after self-tanning as dead skin cells fall off. The rule of thumb is to go for a gentle and oil-free skin scrub. I recommend: St. Tropez Tan Enhancing Body Polish. It’s one of the best scrubs in the market to achieve a flawless tan.
4. Prep Your Body
This includes waxing or shaving body hair, going for manicure and pedicure, as well as having your hair done. In fact, it is advisable to wax 24 hours in advance to give sore skin time to heal. If you do so after applying a self-tanner, you are likely to irritate your skin further.
5. Do Product Testing
Although most people do not experience skin sensitivity after self-tanning, it is wise to carry out a skin patch test 24 to 48 hours in advance.
6. Shower Before
Before applying a self-tanner, take a shower to get rid of makeup, perfume, deodorant, and body lotion. It doesn’t make sense to apply self-tanner while your skin has an oily barrier.
7. Dry Properly
When you get out of the shower, dry your skin properly and wait until it is completely dry.
8. Selective Skin Softening
Apply a lightweight lotion on selective parts of the body such as the elbows, knees, ankles, and heels. This prevents them from over absorbing the self-tanner and turning orange or dark. Remember, the aim is to have a consistent tan all over your body.
Some people advocate moisturizing while others say it is a big no. If you follow the school of thought that shuns moisturizing, then stick to that. For moisturizing proponents, Victoria’s Secret bronzing expert Meredith Baraf recommends a moisturizer that contains a DHA-friendly self-tanner. I recommend: Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer (best value) or Vita Liberata Fabulous Self-Tanning Gradual Lotion (super hydrating).
10. Use Gloves
Some people use their bare hands to apply self-tanner while others prefer gloves. While the majority of manufacturers recommend washing your hands after applying their products all over your body, others recommend washing your hands after covering a particular part of the body and repeating this process until the entire body is done. Gloves are particularly handy if you do not want to have colored palms.
11. Proper Application
Although there is no standard method of applying self-tanner, it makes sense to start from the bottom part of the body and work your way up to avoid developing creases when you bend.
12. Covering the Back
Applying self-tanner on your back can be tricky. A handy trick is to squeeze a spray aerosol jet into the air behind your back and step backwards into the mist falling down.
13. The Face
Be careful when you get to the face. Apply dime-size portions of self-tanner on the forehead, nasal bridge, chin, and cheeks. Use your fingertips to spread this tanner evenly over the face and remember to wash your hands when you are done.
14. Relax and Apply Powder
With the whole body covered, relax for about ten minutes and then apply talc-free baby powder all over to prevent tanner from sticking onto your clothes.
Go ahead and wear loose clothing. Also, avoid water exposure such as bathing or swimming for six to eight hours to give the tan time to develop properly. Remember to keep your skin moisturized and drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated.
Like this post? Then check out more summer beauty tips: 10 Ways To Sweat Proof Your Summer Makeup Look.