Keeping your skin radiant and youthful for years to come takes more than just a good regime of removing your make up each night, applying moisturizer and having the odd facial. I looove the sun, heck I live in a beach town, but the effects the sun can have on unprotected skin can wreak havoc on your complexion long term and let's not forget about the possibilities of skin cancer. Needless to say I am not a fan of tanning beds but I sure do love the look of a tan..especially when I am hanging out at the beach in a bikini with my family and friends. Ladies, I have had my trials and tribulations with many sunless tanning products..enough to feel more than comfortable to share with you what I have learned from my mistakes. So without further ado here are some tips from a former pasty white girl on how to achieve a beach ready glow minus the tanning bed.
1. FIND THE RIGHT PRODUCT. First off ditch any products that you may have lying around from Summers past. Self tanners have a tendency to lose their potency over time which means you may not end up quite the shade you were hoping for or even worse with unsightly blotches on your skin. New season...new bottle. Now about the right shade for you - unless you have a darker skin tone look for a product labeled "fair" or "medium" to avoid becoming more of an orange shade, which is every woman's worst nightmare in bikini season. If you find the shade is too light for you simply build up your tan with more applications spread over a few days. I recommend purchasing a product that contains some tint to make for a much easier application process; my favorite is Loreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion.
2. PREPARE. Before you dive eagerly right into that new bottle be sure your skin is well prepared for the application. For the very best results start prepping your skin 2-3 days before. Exfoliate daily, moisturize and take care to use a rich moisture cream on very dry areas such as ankles, knees and elbows. This will prevent streaks and blotches from forming on your skin post-application. Immediately before applying any sunless tanner be sure to shower, exfoliate and shave. DO NOT apply any lotions or moisturizers to your skin before or immediately after self tanner application.
3. APPLICATION. Take your time, be thorough and blend, blend, blend. This is where a tinted lotion is really useful. Apply the lotion in a brightly lit room with a large mirror nearby. Having a friend handy to help with your back is always helpful although not necessary. Applying sunless tanning lotion should never be rushed. Wearing disposable gloves is not a necessity if you take care to wash your hands well (get in between those fingers) at least twice during the application process. If you prefer to wear gloves though you can always apply lotion to the backs of your hands afterwards with a cotton ball. Do not apply self tanner before you go to bed, your skin will need adequate time to soak it all in and rolling around in bed sheets usually makes for some interesting patterns of smudges both on you and your linens.
4. TOUCH-UPS. Even with the most careful of application little self tanner mishaps are known to occur on occasion. Streaks and blotches can happen to the best of us. To remove an unsightly spot try using some lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball. Dark patches can be common in areas where dry skin is prone, such as around the ankles and elbows. Exfoliating works wonders for such a problem and can also be helpful for streaks and blotches on other areas of your skin. If you are unfortunate enough to end up more of an orange shade try exfoliating, taking a dip in a pool (chlorine speeds up the fading process) or using a product such as St Tropez Tanning Essentials Self-Tan Remover.
Do you have a tip that you didn't see mentioned here? Please share with us :)