Guide to Self-Tanning
With warmer weather just around the corner I couldn’t resist doing a post on how to get your skin glowing and in shape for spring. It's never too early to start prepping for bikini season imo, and the first thing I do is slough off that dull dry winter skin.
The first thing I notice when I wear my shorts and sundresses for the first time in the season is how scaly and dry my skin looks, so I love to start exfoliating and tanning as soon as possible.
With my pale, Irish skin, I’ve been using self-tanner since high school when tanning beds were having their heyday, and the good news is there are a lot more options on the market now for a streak-free, even tan than there were back then. Whether you go low end or high end you can still get an even tan.
So let’s get started:
First step starts in the shower! You need to exfoliate your skin so the tanner can apply evenly. Make sure the water isn’t too hot or you’ll dry your skin out. I love using a sugar scrub because it smooths my skin without being too harsh. This sugar scrub is my favorite and also smells delicious— kind of reminds me of a sno-cone when you smell it in the jar but leaves just a subtle, clean scent.
You can use your hands, shower gloves, a loofah – whatever you like!
Next -- and this is an optional but luxurious step-- is to lightly apply a shower oil. L'Occitane Shower Oil Smells. Heavenly. If we weren’t tanning today, I would douse myself in this because the scent is just that delicious, but you don’t want to overdo it and give too much slip to the surface of the skin before tanner is applied because then it can have trouble absorbing evenly. So just lightly glaze it over spots that tend to get rough, like knees, elbows, and quickly rinse.
After toweling off out of the shower, give your skin about another 15-20 minutes to fully dry. Do not apply any other lotions or creams as you normally would after showering. Just let your skin be.
Finally, you're ready to start tanning. I used to swear by Clarins in high school - it’s pricey but gives a dark, even tan great for summer. For the start of the season, though, I like subtle color to look as natural as possible, so I use Jergens. It's old-school, tried and true, and affordable. If I apply it just once, it just evens out my skin and gives less of a tan than just a natural glow and healthiness to my skin. If I want deeper color I use it over a period of a few days. The performance of this product for the price is excellent. It doesn’t have a strong tanner smell, it gives even, beautiful color and it develops gradually so you can’t botch it and turn orange. (Or green, which happened to me once after an unfortunate spray tan incident :(
I apply this like I would a body lotion and use it sparingly around my ankles, knees, and elbows as those areas tend to go too dark.
If you do apply too much to one area, gently swipe it with a tissue to remove excess product.
Finally, and most importantly, wait AT LEAST 15 minutes before dressing, and wear loose fitting clothing that doesn’t constrict your skin. I can’t count the number of times I’ve put on tight pants and botched my tan. Most formulas need oxygen to develop, so make sure you’re giving your skin room to breathe!
Enjoy your gorgeous tan! :)
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