How a Sunblock Snafu Made Me Re-Evaluate Self-Tanner

Total Beauty

Posted 07/21/10 at 01:37PM by Total Beauty

I need to confess something; at this very moment, I have a genuine, honest to goodness suntan. One from that big ball in the sky, and not from a tube. It was an accident, I swear but, yep -- I'm brown as can be.

Here's how it happened. I was playing my weekly game of tennis and halfway into the third set I realized I'd neglected to apply sunscreen. Gasp. The amazing thing was the intense feelings of guilt and shame that overtook me. I mean, it's not like I robbed a bank, but we're so conditioned to avoid harmful rays that I honestly felt like I'd done something truly egregious.

But, here's the upshot of the faux pas; I remembered, after eons of being pale-faced, that I look really good with color in my cheeks, and found that poppy pink lipstick looks fab with it -- or so that's what my friends (and husband) have been telling me the last couple of days.

Of course, I won't make "forgetting to apply sunblock" a nasty little habit, but I will start using self-tanner more often -- especially as the sun starts to fade away and I crave a golden glow. I never liked them much before -- the smell really turns me off, as does the fear of orange palms. But I had a friend (who's basically a self-tanning guru) clue me in to a few "tanning tips" she swears will make me a regular user of full-fledged self-tanner. Here they are:

Tip 1: Exfoliating your body (and your face) before applying the product is really the key to getting an even-toned tan. Why? Removing dead skin cells will help your skin soak up the tanner evenly. When I told my friend I had the best salt-scrub to do the trick, she advised against it because it contains oil -- you don't want to coat your skin with anything oily or the tanner won't absorb uniformly. She suggests using a loofah or body brush on dry skin instead, paying extra attention to elbows, knees and feet.

Tip 2: Also important (and so obvious it never occurred to me) is to shave before applying tanner. Not only will smooth, hairless skin absorb the product more evenly, not having to shave once you're tan will help keep your color truer, longer -- otherwise, you're just shaving away your tan -- der.

Tip 3: To keep orange hands at bay, wear disposable latex gloves when applying it. I kind of balked at this one because, really, who has surgical gloves at home? "No gloves? No problem," said my friend, "just clean your palms with a couple of cotton balls doused in lemon juice [after applying tanner] and they won't tan." See? Told ya this girl knows her stuff.

Tip 4: My most favorite tip of all though has to be about how to reach your back. "Spray the air behind you and walk through it backwards!" How's that for ingenuity?

Of course, all of these ministrations may be a bit much to go through just because I like the way pink lipstick looks with my tan face. Especially considering that most days I'm lucky to eke out enough time to floss. I may just have to use a little bronzer.
And the survey says...
1-6 of 6 Comments

  • Posted by EricaF123 on 04/13/13 at 01:27pm

    Nice tips

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  • Posted by powerwoman033 on 03/13/12 at 11:47pm

    I love these tips!

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  • Posted by taryn.romero on 10/06/11 at 11:26am

    I did something similar excpet I went and got a mystic tan. You can find them for a fairly cheap price, you just have to be careful because some can leave you looking like you just spend time with the cast of Jersey Shore.

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  • Posted by LipglossandSpandex on 07/15/11 at 08:07pm

    Boxes of surgical latex gloves are pretty inexpensive and useful. I dye my hair at home and they're way easier to wear and work with than the gloves that come included in the box.

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  • Posted by lea_m_gibson on 04/22/11 at 04:53pm


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  • Posted by lea_m_gibson on 04/22/11 at 04:53pm


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