How to Fake a Summer Tan!
Everyone knows that a tan makes you look healthier and more importantly to most of us, look thinner. But we also know that getting a tan the old fashioned way, by lying in the sun for hours on end several times a week is very damaging and can actually be dangerous. I’ve spent my days with SPF 0 suntan oil slathered on my body laying in the sun for hours and hours every weekend trying to get that “deep, dark Hawaiian tan”. But since my mom had several spots believed to be skin cancer removed from her face, you will not see me in the sun without a hat and SPF 35 or higher sunblock on. So to achieve a golden glow without submitting my skin to further damage, I’ve turned to sunless tanning. Sunless tanners use dihydroxyacetone, or DHA to darken the skin for up to a week. There are a multitude of products on the market to choose from but I’ve done some of the research for you. Stay tuned to this blog for my list of 5 amazing sunless tanners that have proven to be easy to apply and provide a flawless sun-kissed look.Step 1: Prepare Your Supplies
Obviously a salon is the best way to achieve a flawless sunless tan, but as that can be pricey (anywhere from $60 up, per application), at home options are more affordable and easier in our time-crunched lives.
Choose the product that you like (See my article: Six Great Sunless Tanners).
To prepare for tanning you want to make sure that you have plenty of time to allow the tanner to dry. Make sure that you have some loose fitting clothing like a nightgown to put on when you’ve dried.
You’ll want to shower and shave prior to sunless tanning for best results. Use an exfoliating body scrub to remove dead skin cells that the tanner may concentrate into.Step 2: Tanning the Face
Pull hair back into a ponytail or use a headband to keep hair out of face if you have short hair.
- First, prepare your skin by cleansing and exfoliating to remove any dead skin cells that cause the tanner to “grab” and create a blotchy tan.
- Next, Apply under eye cream. You want the area under your eyes to stay lighter because it makes you appear younger and in my opinion just looks better.
- Then mix a few drops of sunless tanner with your moisturizer and apply all over your face and neck. The key is to only go one shade darker then your natural color.
- Follow the instructions included with your tanner of choice and allow the tanner to set for the recommended time.
My personal preference is to sunless tan my face when I get home from work so it can set for around 4-5 hours before I wash my face for bed. This way, I don’t have that sunless tanner on my skin interfering with my makeup.Step 3: Tanning Your Body
Apply the tanner to your body limb by limb starting with your legs, then hips and torso, followed by chest back and arms.
- After showering and exfoliating, apply some Vaseline to your nails and cuticles to keep the tanner from turning your manicure yellow.
- Apply tanner starting with your shin and calf area, spreading the tanner to your feet and toes avoiding dryer areas until you only have the smallest bit of tanner left on your fingers. You don’t want it to concentrate in those areas making them look dirty or too dark. Apply the tanner to your thighs both front and back and use the excess to apply to your knees.
- Next apply the tanner to your hips, torso, chest and back.
- Then apply to shoulders arms and hands using the same technique as for your legs.
- Finally, avoid any activity that will cause you to sweat and avoid getting water on your skin and allow up to 30 minutes for tanner to dry before putting on any clothing.
Once your tanner has set follow the instructions included in the packaging to achieve the best results. As I said, I prefer to tan when I get home and then shower again just before bedtime which allows my tan to set for around 5 hours which is the recommendation for the product I use. I personally don’t like to leave the tanner on when I go to bed because I don’t want to destroy my bedding.Step 4: Finishing Up
To remove sunless tanner from your palms without messing up your hands, rub your palms on a wet washcloth or purchase sunless tanner removal towelettes to take tanner of the areas it doesn’t belong.
Apply bronzer to your face or an illuminating shimmer powder to your chest and décolletage for a truly sun-kissed look.
Want you look to be darker? Repeat the process the next day to build on the tan you’ve created. Just remember to not go overboard, we’re not trying to look like the cast of Jersey Shore…well most of us aren’t.
Just follow the individual product instructions and within a few hours you can become a beautiful, sun-kissed bronze goddess.
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