First, I want to stress that baking in the sun is out! Every time you go outside you are exposing your skin to the elements and risking damage and premature aging. It doesn’t matter how old you are, your skin type, or your location. Sun block with a SPF of at least 15 is a must for everyone. Apply it at least 30 minutes before leaving the house, and reapply often. Once again- lying out in the sun is not an option. If you do, you can look forward to:
o Getting wrinkly skin prematurely
o Getting sunburned or blistered
o Getting skin cancer
In fact, every year over 60,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed, mostly due to unsafe tanning practices.
Doesn’t sound like something that you want to experience? Well you aren’t alone. The next option you have is tanning beds. While tanning beds offer you a bit more control over your exposure rate, they still aren’t a valid option. The sheer act of tanning is damaging to your skin. So I would skip the tanning beds and search for something less damaging.
So what else is there?
Self tanners are perhaps your safest and best bet. Now, if you tried some of these products a few years back you may be skeptical about going back. Products of yesterday used to be streaky and fake looking. Luckily technology has played a huge role in the self-tanning market and has allowed manufacturers to create a product that rivals the look of a sun-kissed tan. The trick is to find a quality product and learn to apply it correctly.
Some tips for getting a perfect self-tanner tan are:
o Exfoliate! Basically what this means is remove the dead skin cells that can dull your complexion. Dead skin cells will suck up the self tanner and leave you looking streaky. You can purchase a loofah or exfoliation cream at any beauty supply store. One hot shower and a bit of scrubbing will leave your skin in perfect condition for self-tanner application.
o Make sure your skin is dry before application. Many people are quick to start applying the self tanner right after they exfoliate. This will lead to a blotchy result that will look unnatural. So step away from the shower, dry off thoroughly, and go watch a sitcom or two. That way you will be dry and ready to get a perfect tan.
o Buy a brand that you can see when you apply. There are many things that you will want to look for when choosing a brand. Finding one that is easy to see when you apply it will help prevent over application or missed spots. You can always go back and do touch ups once it has dried, but colored creams or lotions will help make your job a bit easier.
o Use gloves to prevent streaky hands. No one has to know that you self-tan! Prevent streaky odd colored hands by using surgical gloves when applying the tanner. Your palms will come out the right shade, and you won’t have to explain yourself for a week afterwards.
o Use less product on knees and elbows for even color. Your joints are usually drier and tend to suck up more self tanner than other areas of your body. Apply less tanner to these areas for an even look. Exfoliation will also help a bit, but always work on the side of caution.