I love to be tan. There is just something about my skin being bronzed that makes me feel prettier. Iâ€™m not sure if it has something to do with me being Latin or if itâ€™s more to do with me being a teen in the 80â€™s, but tan is where itâ€™s at.
The only thing is, now I am painfully aware of the dangers of tanning beds and the harmful effects of the sun on my skin. I am so freckled that I look like a walking, breathing version of the hardest connect the dot game in existence. I still want that bronzed glow but Iâ€™d like to pass on the wrinkles and skin cancer; enter self-tanning.
When most of us think of self-tanning, our mind goes directly to OompaÂ Loompa orange, and nobody wants to look like that. Thatâ€™s not attractive and itâ€™s not making anyone feel prettier. Back in the day, self-tanning didnâ€™t leave you looking sun kissed; it left you looking like you had been covered in rust; also not attractive.
Self-tanning has come a long way baby but you have to know what you are doing.
Here are a few simple instructions for getting that sun kissed glow without the wrinkles or skin cancer potential.
Exfoliate before tanning. Itâ€™s always best to use a gentle exfoliator before tanning to help remove dead skin. This simple step will help you to tan more evenly and the color to be saturated into the skin better.
Choose the right self-tanning formula. Honestly, they are all the same because they all have the same active ingredient; dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA is a simple sugar that reacts with the amino acids in the dead cells found on the top layers of your skin, making the skin color darken. It doesnâ€™t matter if you choose gel, mousse, sprays or lotions. Choose what you are most comfortable using.
Avoid Streaking. Refer to step one; exfoliate, exfoliate and exfoliate. Donâ€™t forget about those tricky spots like your knees, ankles and elbows. Bend your knees and elbows to make skin tight when applying self-tanner. Put Vaseline on your cuticles and nails (feet and hands) so the tanner doesnâ€™t tint them because the sun does not tint those areas.
When applying self-tanner, start at your feet and work up your body with a thin coat in long, even strokes. Make sure not to move too much or you will create dark creases and do not apply moisturizer immediately after self-tanning.
Avoid over application. If it takes more than 3-5 minutes for your self-tanner to dry then you have over applied and will look total Oompa Loompa in about 15 minutes. Once the streaked Oompa Loompa looks begins to appear, gently use an exfoliator to remove the tanner or you can use self-tanner remover.
Yes, there is such a thing and it works even after the tan has fully developed. So fear not, you will not have to leave the house looking like a dreamsicle should you be overzealous with your application skills.
With these few steps, you can have a gorgeous, sun kissed tan without playing chicken with skin cancer or making yourself look like leather hide. What are your tricks for getting that sun kissed look?
Photo Credit: Love Maegan