For years I have been a slave to the sun. The problem is that too much sun is terrible for your skin. It ages you and can also cause cancer. In the last few years I have worked hard to change my habits. I wear sunscreen every day and stay away from long sun sessions and roasting in tanning beds. Now when I want a sun-kissed look I grab a bottle of self-tanner. I like to consider myself a bit of an expert. Here are some tips to give you a nice even glow:
1. Exfoliate The Skin.
This is extremely important because exfoliating before application will make your skin smoother for a more even tan. Make sure to pay attention to spots that are prone to dryness like knees, elbows and knuckles.
Self-tanner can actually be drying. I recommend applying lotion first. This way your skin is soft and moist and will absorb the self-tanner better.
3. Start Off Light.
This goes for both the application and the color of self-tanner you use. I promise you that it will come out darker than you expect. If you are brand new to this I would start with a tanning lotion or a build-a-tan version. This will allow you to experiment without looking like a oompa-loompa the next day (trust me I've been there)! Lightly rub tanner all over body.
4. Cover Or Wash.
Always wash hands after applying. If you are going to put on multiple coats then wash hands in between coats to keep the tanner from setting. You can also use latex gloves when applying. Another great tip is to put Vaseline on the rough parts of skin to keep them from getting too tan.
5. Be Patient.
The longer you allow it to set the more color you will get. Wait as long as possible before getting dressed. I like to take an evening shower and then relax in a dingy robe while it sets. Then I put on old pajamas and sleep with it on. This is a little risky if you aren't use to self-tanning. I have been doing this so often that most of the time I wake up and it works perfectly, but sometimes I wake up to a hug streak on my arm or fluorescent orange fingers. After a few times you will find a method that works well for you.
My Favorite brands are L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze-ProPerfect Spray and DERMAQUEST Self Tanner Lotion
Photo: We Heart It