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By now you should be more than aware that any tan you get naturally is sun damage, but for many the lure of a deep, golden and figure flattering tan is too great an opportunity to pass up, especially during the summer season or when you’re on vacation.
The simple truth is, it makes a lot of sense to get a spray tan or use self-tanner before succumbing to temptation and the sun’s damaging rays. Katherine Goldman, celebrity esthetician/waxologist and owner of the Stript Wax Bar says, “With a spray tan, you end up with the beautiful looking skin you want, but you avoid the pitfalls and risks that come with other tanning routes. It’s the best route to take to look great for the summer.” At BITB, we couldn’t agree more!
It’s important to note that self-tanning or spray tanning will not prevent you from getting a sunburn — You’ll still need to use sun protection for that. What a faux tan will do though, is prevent you from wanting to get any color from the sun.
A fake bake will help you avoid an uncomfortable, unsightly and unhealthy sunburn which will:
- help you prevent skin cancer.
- help you prevent premature aging of the skin.
- help camouflage blemishes, scars, spider veins and uneven skin tone.
- help do away with tan lines.
- help you wear less makeup. A natural-looking golden glow trumps foundation any day.
If you opt for a spray tan:
- Be prepared to bare a little or a lot. You can wear your own bathing suit, your own underwear or the on-hand disposable panties but if you don’t want any tan lines you’ll want to go nude.
- Before your appointment you should lightly exfoliate your skin with a gentle scrub or exfoliating gloves, as well as shave and arrive deodorant free.
If you opt for self-tanner:
- Prep skin with a mild exfoliant to slough away dead skin cells.
- Give yourself a good view with full-length mirrors when applying. You need to see exactly where you’re applying it.
- Use less in thicker-skinned areas like your knees, elbows, ankles and hands and blend, blend, blend. It’s easier to add more than to lighten too dark areas.
- When done, wash your hands with warm soapy water, being extra mindful of your palms and fingernail areas. Latex gloves or a tanning mitt can help you avoid the stained palms syndrome.
- Moisturize daily for long-lasting results.
You can and should expect perfect results with an in-salon spray tan but you’ll still get great results if you opt to do it yourself. In recent years, self-tanners have come a long way baby and there are numerous methods to choose from. Try the ease of an in-shower application, the even application of a non-aerosol mist or a self-tanner that includes skincare benefits:
St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion ($25) makes it easy for you to get a golden glow in just 3 minutes while you’re in the shower. For best results, after cleansing with warm water and while skin is still wet, apply the self-tanning/moisturizing lotion in circular motions for even coverage. After 3 minutes rinse off with warm water. Use this product daily for three consecutive days to build up to a gradual tan and feel free to leave the lotion on for up to five minutes if you prefer a deeper tan. It works well on all skin tones to deliver a natural-looking tan sans streaking. Available in Light and Medium.
Hampton Sun Sunless Tanning Mist ($36) sprays on completely clear, goes on evenly and dries in minutes for a seamless, gorgeous tan without having to rub it in. Use this non-aerosol mist for a tan that develops in just a few hours. It includes aloe vera, witch hazel and red raspberry extract to smooth, nourish and hydrate, plus a light, fresh fragrance you’re sure to love.
James Read Bronzing Mousse ($36) can be used on the face and body. It’s also formulated with skincare ingredients like co-enzyme Q10 and amaranth protein antioxidant protection and added moisture. Blend well and allow product to dry for about a minute. Though your color will develop in three to five hours, for best results avoid water for eight hours.
NOTE: St. Tropez and Hampton Sun products were sent for review. James Read was tested in store. Opinions are my own.