It’s that time of year when your best accessory is a sunkissed-just-returned-from-South-Beach tan. However, jumping into a tanning bed is a dangerous option. According to recent research from the University of Minnesota, regular use of tanning beds triples or even quadruples the risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. No accessory is worth putting yourself at that kind of a risk. Here are some tips to get a healthy glow this summer from a lotion or a spray tan at your local spa or salon.
Long gone are the days applying self tanner, only to be surprised with orange skin after a few hours. Today your options are almost as endless as natural skin colors. From instant color to gradual color and a light sun kissed color to dark bronze, many brands offer natural and safe sunless tanning lotions.
The first step for sunless tanning is to prep your skin. In the shower exfoliate with a loofah and cleansing scrub. This ensures dead skin is removed for a clean, smooth surface to soak up the lotion. It is also very important to shave before applying sunless tanner. You don’t want to put on your tanner, only to have to “shave” off that layer of color the next day!
Make sure your skin is completely dry before you apply the lotion and have your hair pulled up. As you apply the self tanner be mindful of areas that are naturally lighter–think underarms, palms of your hand, feet and ankles. Use a towel to wipe or dab these areas a little more so color doesn’t build up and look unnatural. Also, wash the palms of your hands once you’re done.
Finally, let your skin dry a bit before putting on loose, dark-colored clothing. If possible wear a towel or cover-up until your skin is completely dry. For the first four hours of your tan, avoid swimming, exercising or anything that would get your skin wet or sweaty.
If you opt for a spray tan at a spa or salon, the first and last tips remain the same—exfoliate and shave well before your appointment, wear loose clothes home and avoid swimming of exercising for a few hours.
Thinking about an education in skincare? Our list of Best Esthetics and Skincare schools is a great place to start!