Nothing gives your confidence a bigger boost than a faux glow on a cool summer day as you sit by the poolside in your tiniest bikini. Or better yet, a sun-kissed glow in the place of very pale winter skin. There's a reason why self-tanning is one of the biggest trends in the beauty industry today. Self-tanners are much safer as compared to tanning beds and sunbathing. However, there are scores of self-tanners in the market, and to reap maximum benefits, you need to choose the best one. This guide provides some essential tips!
Find your best tanner
There are dozens (even more) self-tanner brands in the market. If you're just getting started out, it might be hard choosing the best product for your particular needs:
- Tanning towelettes ‘ these are usually wipes that are pre-soaked with self-tanner. You just need to unfold the sheet and swipe it across your skin in order to score an even tanning glow. If you're on vacation and are determined to keep up your beautiful glow, towelettes are the way to go. Why? Because they are stress-free. It's almost impossible to apply too much tanning product with a wipe, and you can dispose of them once you're done.
- Self-tanning moisturizers ‘ generally, products under this category tend to have lower concentrations of dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is the main active ingredient in most sunless tanners. Thus, they will gradually help achieve that sun-kissed glow that you're looking out for. Tanning moisturizers are best recommended if you're just looking for a hint of color or a good starting point for tanning beginners.
- Self-tanning lotions and creams ‘ most tanning creams and lotions happen to be tinted so that you can easily see if you missed any spots. They are an increasingly common product in the market, especially when compared to the other two options above. Sunless tanning lotions and creams are ideal for both novices and experienced tanners. They don't instantly absorb into the skin and you have to give the product some time to do its magic.
- Sunless mousses and gels ‘ mousses and gels are fast-drying, lightweight formulas that can be easily layered on the skin so you can build coverage or customize for contouring. Try these ONLY if you're an experienced tanner. You'll need to blend fast before the color is absorbed.
- Do-it-yourself tan sprays ‘ tanning sprays are usually a great way to accomplish that cute glow if you don't have time to fumble with a lotion or any other tanning product for that matter. You can apply the spray evenly from about 6 inches away, in a circular motion. The product covers large areas and you see results fast. If you're trying to hit hard-to-reach areas such as your back, sprays might be a good option.
Whatever category of tanning products you find suitable for you, it's important to evaluate the product's ingredients and read reviews from other users to see whether it might get the results you're looking for. The cost and quantity might also be a factor for you.
Prep by exfoliating
Most people, more so beginners, believe that you can just slather on a self-tanner and get results, but that's a certain recipe for a streaky disaster. Before you think about tanning, you must exfoliate your skin with a scrub to slough off dry, dead skin cells. This will make tanner-application smooth and even. If you're going to be applying the tanner on your whole body, including your legs, make a point to shave in advance.
Moisturize your skin
Once your skin is well-prepped for the tan, it's time to moisturize (using a lightweight product) to keep it hydrated. Whatever the type of tanner you're using (spray, mousse, lotion, etc), this helps make the application much smoother. You probably already know that properly moisturized skin looks more healthy and youthful.
Do the tan
If you're using a tanning lotion such as the Thermalabs original Self Tanner, apply several pumps of it on a tanning mitt. This helps make the application much easier (even and streak-free) and your hands won't stain in the process. Gently rub the mitt onto your skin. About two to three pumps should be enough to cover an entire section of your body (e.g. legs, hands, back, etc). Get into the habit of doing this daily in the place of your usual lotion. Your skin will gradually catch a soft color-kiss that'll make it unique and attractive.
What if I make a mistake?
Using a tan applicator mitt obviously helps minimize the probability of streaking and other tanning mishaps. However, if you still end up getting some minor streak, get some cotton ball and lemon juice (or nail polish remover) and drag the cotton ball gently over the streaks. Lightly repeat this movement till the tan is even. Have it in mind that it's much easier to add a tanner to your skin than it is to remove it, so be careful when applying in the first place.
Do some maintenance
Once you've gotten comfortable applying the tanning product on a consistent basis, you might want to try out some contouring techniques. This helps create the illusion of cleavage or fake a more lifted butt, among other things. Try exercising some more fine-tuned tanning techniques and see how they work for your beauty preferences.
There's a reason celebrities are big fans of self-tanning. In addition to giving you a healthy, complexion-rich glow, it also gives you an instant slimming effect. But just because you tanned your skin doesn't mean that you should forget the sunscreen when you go outside. Most good tanners come equipped with SPF in the formula, but you'll still need to use sunscreen. Consider getting a good sunscreen product that you can always use anytime you need to go outside. The Protection sunscreen lotion, for example, provides more protection from the sun's UV radiation and enriches the skin at the same time.
Take advantage of this week's special promotion on Amazon and get Thermalabs' GLOW2GO self-tanning towelettes for a very special price!