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Self Tanning Steps

How to achieve a no-mess, no fuss glow.

Nothing says you have embraced summer like a sun-kissed glow, and we have got all the best DIY self-taning tips to achieve it.

Going the tan from a tube route may even help protect you from sun damage, recent research shows:

Beach-goers educated in self-tan techniques and the dangers of UV ray were less likely to sit in the sun without protection and experienced fewer sunburn over the course of the summer than their non-trained fellow loungers.

(It’s not that self-tanners contain SPF most don’t; rather, bronzing safely can change your sunbathing habits.)



1. Test it out

Self  Tanners rely on the ingredient dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, a potential irritant. The day before you self-tan for the first time, test a silver dollar-size area on the inside of your arm or inner thigh.  But if you do get a rash, try another formulation before you pass on self-tanner.

2. Get your timing right:

Wax at least 24 hours in advance; the same goes for any other kind of hair removal that tears hair out of the follicle-like threading or tweezing. Otherwise, the follicles may still be open, and self-tanner can pool in them, creating tiny dark spots.  also, rubbing DHA on sensitized skin ups the odds of irritation.

3. Slough off old skin first:

To turn you golden, DHA reacts with the proteins in the very outer layer of your skin.  Any patches of old, dead skin will absorb more self-tanner, which can lead to spots and streaks.  For an even start, dry-brush before you shower.

Try EcoTools Bamboo Bristle Bath Brush ($6, drugstores) or use an exfoliating mitt with an oil-free body wash.  If you prefer to use a body scrub, choose one formulated for use with self-tanners, like beautisol Go Slough Yourself ($19 beaytisol.com); ordinary body scrubs generally contain hydrating oils that will impede the penetration of DHA.

4. Be Bare:

When you get out of the shower, you may instictively reach for a deodorant or an antiperspirant.  Stop right there.  If the lotion or spray hits your deodorant, you skin can turn a funny green gray color.  It’s best if self-tanner goes on dry skin that’s freshly cleaned and exfoliated, so don’t rub on any essential oils, spritz on perfume, or apply body lotion, either.


1. Start light:

Dark self-tanners pack more DHA, and the higher the concentration, the greater the odds you will end up with an uneven or streaky tan.  If you are a self-tan newbie, start with a light formulation.  Once you have gotten the application down pat, you can graduate to medium or dark (which have the benefit of lasting longer).

2. Select Instant Color:

Many self-tanners also contain a DHA-free bronzing lotion or temporary tanner.  These formulas have pigment that deliver an immediate glow and, like makeup, they wash off with soap and water.  The slather on bronze gives you immediate gratification, but more important, the color reduces streaks by showing your exactly where you have rubbed it on and where you have missed.

Try: Lorac Self Tanner.
Shop Now and Save on:
LORAC SelfTANtalizer(R) Body Bronzing Gradual Self-Tanner & Mitt.



3. Begin at your thighs:

Rub the self-tanners down the length of your legs. “Start with a dollop, so that doesn’t need much self-tanner, your won’t have much left.  Then rub self-tanner on the front of your torso followed by your arms (starting with your shoulder).  Again, when you reach your wrists, the product should have thinned out.

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Self Tanner - Organic and Natural Ingredients Sunless Tanning Lotion and Best Bronzer Golden Buildable Light, Medium or Dark Gradual Tan for Body and Face 7.5 ozSelf Tanner - Organic and Natural Ingredients Sunless Tanning Lotion and Best Bronzer Golden Buildable Light, Medium or Dark Gradual Tan for Body and Face 7.5 ozThe Most Beautiful Thing You Can Wear is Confidence

Kick pale, pasty skin to the curb and greet the world with confidence with the best self tanner... Read More >

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