Everyone wants to look like they have a healthy glow for the winter. When the sun is rarely out and you miss your summer tan, it’s hard to feel sexy. The problem is, there is no such thing as a “healthy glow”. We all know that spending too much time in the sun or tanning bed unprotected can break down the collagen in our skin, cause free radical damage and possibly lead to skin cancer. Good thing we can fake that glow that is so sought after!
Here are some great tips for sunless tanning…
Before slathering yourself in self-tanner, do a patch test on the inside of your arm to make sure you’re not allergic to the formula. Use a gentle scrub to exfoliate your skin before applying your tanning lotion. This will ensure that the color develops evenly, but use it sparingly on knuckles, knees, ankles and in between fingers/toes. Also, be sure to choose the right shade based on your natural skin tone or the starting point. Don’t go overboard though, as nobody wants to look orange. Try blending your fake tan lotion with your moisturizer or opt for a moisturizer with tanning cream built in. Favorites include Neutrogena Build-a-Tan or Loreal’s Sublime Glow. These lotions give you a subtle glow that will deepen with each use. They are very easy to apply and almost goof-proof, just remember to wash your hands after applying! But don’t skip the sunscreen. If your self-tanner doesn’t already have one in it, you still have to apply sunscreen.
Salon tans are your best bet if you want a flawless, professional application and can afford the price. Head to the salon or spa and opt for the full body exfoliation (to save on the cost you can do this step at home just before you get to the salon) and a professional application of self-tanner with an airbrush machine. This is where an aesthetician sprays a fine mist of tanner over your entire body, making sure that it is even everywhere. For a cheaper option you can visit a tanning salon that offers booth spray tans. This process is done in a small booth and the tanning solution is sprayed on your body by a machine. Be careful to cover your hair and apply a barrier cream to your nails and palms of your hands. Otherwise you will have a build-up of self-tanner all over. When finished, you dry off starting at your feet and working up. Be sure to follow the booth tanning steps carefully, otherwise, without a human to help, you could end up a self-tanning mess.
There are several steps to follow in order to maintain your glow as long as possible. Whether you do it yourself or have a professional apply the product, do not wear makeup, perfumes or lotions before your treatment. These can affect the absorption of DHA (the sunless tanning ingredient) resulting in streaking and minimal color. Deodorants should also be avoided. Spraying over deodorant can result in green rings around the arm pit and is difficult to remove. Always wait 8-12 hours before showering, and use a body wash or shower gel. These contain less alkaline than regular bar soap. If you have had an airbrush application with bronzer, you will see color washing off the first time you shower. This is just the surface color that was applied. Your skin will continue to tan as the self-tan reaction occurs on your skin. Moisturize twice a day with an alcohol-free lotion. Hydrated skin makes your tan last longer and slows down the process of natural skin exfoliation. If you are using a self-tanner with moisturizer, only apply the self-tanner once a day and use a regular moisturizer after that. The use of alpha hydroxy acids will increase exfoliation and accelerate the fading process of your tan. Waxing and other forms of hair removal should be done before your self-tanner application.
Do not exercise immediately following your tanning session, as excessive perspiration can affect the tanning process and the end result of your tan. When swimming or soaking in a hot tub, use a waterproof sun screen to help seal it in. The tan will still fade a little but this will slow down the process. And remember not to sit directly on light fabric or put tight fitting clothing on just after your tanning session or self tanner application.
Good luck—you will look and feel great after doing this!
About Mo Lewit:
Celebrity makeup artist Maura ‘Mo’ Lewit was recently seen on the new Lifetime reality competition TV series “Blush: The Search for the Next Great Makeup Artist”. From past credits working with celebrities and high profile shows such as Jennifer Tilly, author Lucie Venture, Norma Strait, “The Country Music Awards”, Sarah Ferguson, Rachel McAdams, Omorosa Manigault-Stallworth and Cirque Du Soleil her beauty, sense of professionalism and outgoing attitude lend to her leaving a lasting impression in the industry.