It's June, which in my book means that it is officially summer. My favorite challenge of summer is achieving the ideal, healthy, glowing tan. Growing up, I spent a lot of time outdoors, so I never even thought about "tanning" as a past-time, or even a verb for that matter. It was just something that happened. As I got older and had less time for sundrenched activities, I missed that sun-kissed look that said I had an active lifestyle.
When I was 13, I pleaded with my mom to let me go to a tanning salon, but she dismissed me. (My parents are the type of people who don't even bother to blend sunblock into their skin, opting to let it sit on top like an actual barrier between them and the sun). Thankfully, this timing was around the advent of over-the-counter self-tanning products. I've been using these products since that age and have (almost) always been pleased with the results that left me with the golden skin-tone I desired. My first self-tanning product was from Neutrogena and was a foam pump and I honestly haven't received better results from a self-tan product since it. Alas, it was discontinued, as most favorite products are. Still, at the beginning of every summer, I add self-tanning to my weekly routine so I have a radiant, active look all season long, even if I still don't find time to be outside.
Here are my Top 4 tips for achieving an even application of self-tanner, whether it's a foam, gel, or lotion product:
1. Buff, before You Bronze
Whether you are aiming to get your tan au naturale or from a bottle, it best to give yourself a decent scrubbing first. Not only does this ensure that you will get an even application of sunless tanner, but it will also give your skin a healthier appearance as well as give your tan longevity. Try dry brushing before you shower, bringing all the strokes toward your heart.
Body Brush, The Body Shop
Shower Scrub, Aveda
2. Grab the Gloves
I use to think that people who wore vinyl gloves (like the kind your dentist wears) to apply self-tanner were amateurs. WRONG. It leaves your palms free from developing the tan and it has this strange effect of giving the most even application. This is probably due to the fact that the formula isn't drying out on your palms as you rub it in. It will stay wet on the glove until it is blended into your skin. Just don't over rub.
Vinyl Gloves, Walgreens
3. Use a Brush to Blend
A makeup brush is ideal for blending self-tanner into those areas of our bodies that are the stuff of self-tanner nightmares. You will get a lighter application using a brush to apply self-tanner on areas like your hands, elbows, knees, and toes.
(Extra Tip: You can also use the makeup brush to apply self tanner like you would your contouring products, leaving you with truly no-makeup definition.)
Makeup Brush, Sephora
4. Don't Sweat It
I know that so many people swear by applying your self-tanner before bed and then waking up to a fresh new tan. But, because you can sweat when you sleep, it advisable to apply your self tanner a few hours before bed and then wash it off. If you absolutely insist going go to bed in your self-tanner, try some baby powder. Just sprinkle a little all over yourself to help absorb moisture. If you are pressed for time, try an quick-developing formula self-tan product.
Express Tan, Jergens