With all the changes happening to our climate, the summers have become way too hot, and now, it has become tricky to tan safely under the long-awaited summer rays. That is why now is the right time to start looking for alternatives. A magazine or a friend might suggest tanning beds, but that’s not such a good idea either. Since they do more harm than good, it’s best to stay away from them.
That said, let’s talk about your safest option: self-tanning. It’s easy, it can be done at home, and it can make you look fine as hell. Of course, if you’ve never had any experience with self-tanning products, it might sound like a daunting task. After all, you don’t want to look like a carrot, but that’s where this list of do’s and don’ts comes in handy.
DO: Buy Gloves
Buying gloves should be at the top of your shopping list and here’s why. If you keep applying and reapplying the self-tanner, your hands are going to look way darker than the rest of your body. So, make sure that you buy a pair of gloves that are not textured and preferably plastic. This will give you a smooth and even application and you won’t have to deal with different shades on your body – especially your palms which aren’t naturally pigmented anyway!
DON’T: Buy One Product
While beginners believe that tanning products are a one-size-fits-all, experts strongly disagree. Not all products serve a two-in-one function, and so, it’s best to buy different products for your face and body. This is because body-tanning lotions are made with a specific formula that won’t give you the same results if used on facial skin. Keep this in mind on your shopping quest. Again, it’s a little extra effort, but you’ll be getting a much bigger reward.
When applying a tanning lotion you want to remove any barriers that could keep it from your skin. These barriers include dead skin cells, oils, and dirt. In order to avoid an uneven tan, it’s best to get rid of those little buggers. You can exfoliate your skin by using a body scrub or a textured sponge to get rid of dead skin. For your face, face scrubs and specialized sponges work really well. Remember to be gentle with your skin when scrubbing, especially with your face.
DON’T: Be Completely Dry
You want to make sure that your body isn’t completely dry before applying the tanning lotion. Overly dry skin can easily absorb the tan which could result in an unnaturally dark color beyond what you originally intended. Consider applying a good amount of moisturizer after exfoliation so that your body is ready to take in the lotion. You also might want to pay extra attention to the notoriously dry spots in your body, like the knees and elbows.
DO: Find Safe Products
This isn’t news, we all know that not all beauty products are of the same quality. Some products may be cheaper, but only because the company cut a few corners when it came to their safety standards. That is why what you want to do is invest in self-tanners that will keep you safe and leave you with amazing results. It’s always a good idea to do some research before you start looking for the perfect product for you. Stay aware and shop smart.
DON’T: Immediately Shower
You might feel like showering right after application, but it’s best to wait a couple of hours before doing so. The wait will allow your skin to absorb the bronzer to the best of its ability. Now, for the holy grail of advice: always do your waiting in an air-conditioned room. The last thing you want is to sweat. Your products will have a recommended wait time, so all you’ve got to do is follow the instructions. After completely drying you can shower to rinse off the extra bronzer.
DO: Wear Baggy Clothes
As you may know, tanning products can easily stain anything and everything. This is why it’s a good idea to wear ripped or loose clothes instead of wearing something that you can’t replace while tanning. You can always let the tan dry in the air without wearing clothes, however, if you do so then you need to stay away from any water splashes or your own sweat.
DON’T: Rub Your Tan Off
One common mistake you want to avoid is rubbing off your tan accidentally. After you shower, make sure you dry yourself gently. If you have a soft towel, use it. If you don’t, you’ve got to buy one. Your skin will thank you later. Also, instead of rubbing your skin dry, use the dry patting technique to get the fabric to absorb the water without damaging your tan or your skin.
DO: Ask a Friend to Help
There are a lot of areas in our bodies that are difficult for us to reach. If you’re less flexible than a professional contortionist, you might want to ask a friend for help. They can put lotion on these areas and they can help you spot anything that looks off before it’s too late.
DON’T: Reapply Immediately
Tanning products should tell you when to reapply and it’s often somewhere between 3 to 5 days, so there’s no need to improvise. Even if you’re anxious to get quick results, don’t use excessive amounts of lotion because you’re more likely to end up with a rather burnt look. You want your tan to look natural and glowy, so what you want is to use a moderate amount of lotion. Remember to put lotion on your ears, toes, and elbows too, seeing as these areas are easier to forget when reapplying.
Self-tanning isn’t that complicated. You only need to have the right items with you so that the application process goes smoothly. For best results, gather all the items you need in one place so as to avoid moving around too much. First, put on gloves to avoid overly tanning your palms. Second, prep your skin for the main event using exfoliators and moisturizers. Exfoliate, then moisturize, remember that. Of course, be gentle with your application, and don’t reapply too soon. That way, you’ll get to enjoy that smooth, even glow all summer long.