There's nothing healthy about a tan but nothing sexy about pasty pale. Conundrum. Since savvy beauties shun the sun (a far cry from Coco Chanels first intentional tan in the 1930s), we turn to sun-kissed color from a bottle. But self tanners require a bit of TLC when applying. We're sharing the secrets of using self tanners.
Related: Our favorite self tanners
9 Tips for Using Self Tanners
With May as Skin Cancer Awareness Month and our high wedge sandals shimmying head-on into shorter skirt season, here are a few tips for applying self-tanners.
- Exfoliate beforehand. Give yourself a nice dry brush before your shower, instead of using a salt or sugar scrub that can leave behind oil on your skin.
- Keep your hands clean. Use plastic gloves from at-home hair color kits.
- Don't go too dark. Just don't. Choose a shade that might match your natural sun worshipping self.
- Customize the mix. If you're nervous that you grabbed a too dark formula, get a lighter glow by mixing 1/2 lotion (oil-free or it'll be Streak City) and 1/2 self-tanner.
- Protect Your Hair. Apply body lotion around your hairline and eyebrows prior to self-tanning application so you don't discolor your hair.
- Buff it out. After applying the cream to your body, use a tube sock put over your hand a la sock puppet and rub in circular motions to ensure no areas have too much tanner.
- Rely on tools. Use makeup sponges to apply to face, tops of feet and tops of hands.
- When you're done, put a quarter-sized dollop of hand cream on your hands and rub it in around the wrists to blend any tan lines. Do the same with your feet.
- Spot remover. Mess up? Panic not. Lemon juice mixed with sugar, rubbed in small circles at the offending streaky spot should do the trick.
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