If you’re heading on a mid-winter holiday, please, for the love of all things holy, skip the tanning bed and tackle the self-tan. The key to achieving that perfect bronzed glow with self-tanner requires careful application and attention to detail.
Trust me, it takes lots of experimentation to figure out your complete self-tanning regiment, including which products to avoid, how much product to use and what areas of the body to pay extra attention to. These are all questions that you’ll need to answer for yourself depending on your own personal preferences, but taking note of my top five tips for a flawless sun-kissed glow will help you along the way.
- Keep your shower quick and mildly exfoliate. Don’t soak or over scrub.
- Perspiration is a major contributing factor to a streaky self-tan, so make sure your shower is a cool one. Your skin must be completely dry to get the best results, so do not apply self-tanner in a steamy bathroom or on an overly humid day unless you have ample air-conditioning.
- Invest in a tanning mitt to avoid streaking, orange palms and to ensure even coverage.
- Apply in three sections: Legs, Midsection and Décolletage. You want to work from the feet up to avoid creasing at the joints and natural folds of the body. Beware, different parts of the body develop the pigment more easily than others. Avoid heavy application on the ankle bones, knees, elbows, wrists, and armpits. If you notice a mistake once the tan as developed, apply a healthy dose of moisturizer and exfoliate with a warm, damp washcloth.
- Give yourself TIME. Allow at least 45 minutes to complete the application from start to finish (an hour to include drying time of at least 15 minutes).
Based on my extensive trial and error, I have found three holy grail self-tanning products that offer a nearly fool proof application. I must admit, none have completely taken away that familiar Frito-Lay fake-tan smell, but these aren’t nearly as vile and even with a quick, haphazard application, streaking was next to none!
Gold Medal: St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, $30
Silver Medal: Famous Dave’s Mist Tan, $29.97
Bronze Medal: Lorac SelfTANtalizer Bronzing Gradual Self-Tanner & Mitt, $34