I wanted to share a few quick tips for self tanning. Self tanning is a much safer way to get that summertime glow (as opposed to tanning beds or laying out in the sun), but many people are scared to do it because they don't want to deal with the streaks and the weird (chemical) smells.
Hopefully my tips will help you on your self tanning journey so you can successfully achieve a bronzed bod just in time for summer!
SELF TANNING TIPS
1) EXFOLIATE: The most important thing you can do is to exfoliate before you use a self tanner. When you are in the shower, shave and then use a loofa or an exfoliating body scrub of some kind to make sure that you get all the dry skin off your body.
2) MOISTURIZE: Moisturizing before you use a self tanner will help you achieve an even application, and to keep the dryer areas (elbows, wrists, knees, ankles...) from going too dark. At the very least, moisturize the elbows, wrists, knees and ankles if you've had issues with them going too dark.
3) APPLY FROM THE BOTTOM UP: Applying your self tanner from the bottom (feet/legs) and moving upward will keep you from getting streaks across your tummy.
4) APPLY WITH A MITT, GLOVES, OR A SPONGE BRUSH: Applying the self tanner with a mitt, gloves, or a sponge brush (like you get from the craft stores) will keep you from using your hands... so your hands won't turn brown. Gloves can be a little streakier (since they aren't an absorbent material, and product can get caught in the little wrinkles/folds of the gloves) so make sure you really rub in the self tanner well.
5) DON'T FORGET YOUR FACE: You want your face to match your body, right? Use a tanning lotion especially made for the face, or use the same stuff you are using on your body - just make sure that you moisturize your face first if you are going to do that (use a tiny amount of product so it doesn't get too dark). And don't forget your ears!!!!
6) USE MOISTURIZER OR A EXFOLIATING SCRUB TO CORRECT SPOTS THAT WENT TOO DARK: If you happen to notice a little spot here or there that's a little darker than the rest of your body, sometimes you can massage on a little moisturizer over that area to help spread out the product. If you have an area that went WAY too dark, like the palms of your hands, then use an exfoliating scrub of some kind.
7) USE A SELF TANNER WITH A COLOR GUARD: Many self tanners out there will have a color guard - a color guard means that the product is tinted so you can see where you are applying it (or where you might have missed a spot). The color of the product will not necessarily mean that is the color your tan will be... its just there to make sure you apply evenly.
8) APPLY BEFORE BED: Almost ALL self tanners do not smell good. They may start out smelling nice, but once the chemical reaction starts (to develop the "tan"), it can have a chemical smell. If you aren't a fan of that, then shower/exfoliate/moisturize and apply the tanning lotion before bed. That way your tan will develop while you sleep, and you can get up the next morning and take a quick shower to wash off that icky smell.
9) USE A GRADUAL TANNING MOISTURIZER TO PROLONG YOUR TAN: To keep your beautiful bronzed glow, use a gradual tanning moisturizer (like Jergens Natural Glow). It'll maintain that sun kissed look without having to go through your self tanning product as fast. Keep in mind that this product also has that chemical smell, so applying in the evening (and showering the next morning) is a good idea if you don't want to smell like self tanner while at work.
10) USE A FOUNDATION COLOR THAT MATCHES YOUR NEW BRONZED BOD: You don't want to continue to use the same foundation you normally would use because more than likely, it'll be too light... and then your face will not match your body. Its helpful in the summer to have your favorite foundation in a shade or two (or three - no judgment here if you want to be uber bronzed/dark) darker so it'll match your body. If your foundation is still a little too light, use bronzer on your face to warm it up a little more. (You don't have to use bronzer on your WHOLE face, but at least on the cheeks/cheekbones, temples, the perimeter of your forehead, and under your jawline. You could put a pop of it on your nose and chin if you'd like, too. OK... so maybe that is the whole face... whatevs).
**And a bonus tip for my tattooed friends out there - if you have a colored tattoo (especially if its a large one) you may want to skip putting self tanner on that. It can make the colors look brown or dingy. Its a bit of a pain, but going around the tattoo will keep it looking nice and bright!
I hope these tips help!!!! Let me know if you try a new self tanner that you LOVE! Or if there is one that you have heard great things about, but would like a review on it, let me know!
Good luck with your self tanning, friends!
I hope you have a beautifully bronzed summer.