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The How-To Lounge: Perfect Self Tanning

Spring is fast approaching or very much arrived for some of us. It's a fine time to discuss self tanners and how to avoid those orange hands and streaks. Follow along and get a glow that says weekend jaunt in Mexico, not 60-watt bulb in the bathroom.

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  • Before applying self tanner, shower in lukewarm water, because sweating can impact application. Remember to exfoliate: it's the most crucial step when it comes to self tanning, as the creme tends to gravitate to dry, rough areas
  • Dry off completely and apply a thin layer of moisturizer to the places you will be applying the self tanner. This helps the tanner glide on more evenly
  • It's best to apply your self tanner to a naked body and to focus on one area at a time. I suggest starting with your legs and working your way up. I'd avoid spray-on tanners; they're impossible to perfect. Anyway, the lotion lasts longer
  • Most people don't have tanned arm pits or heels. Keep your glow looking natural by applying it to places that make sense
  • Just as in the sun, some parts of your body pick up pigment better than others, so apply your self tanner with that in mind. For example, the top of the arm is darker than the inside of the arm
  • Wait at least 15-20 minutes before putting on your clothes after application. Tanners stain, so don't wear anything you can't live without
  • Wash your hands every 5 minutes to avoid stained, orange palms. Take this step seriously, ladies! Wearing gloves is in an option, but you'll get a cleaner application with your bare hands. You choose your trade off
  • Don't shower or swim for at least 4 hours after applying. As with a real tan, self tanner will fade over time, so re-apply once or twice a week

Good luck, ladies, and remember: wash your hands as much as possible throughout this process. I can't wait for summer!


Join The Conversation
tifygodess24 tifygodess24 10 years
Ive never figured out how to do it right myself , so Im a huge fan of the spray on tan(the booth one )- The Mystic Tan.( I like it because I dont have a stranger with an airbrush tanning me naked, I just jump in a booth ) Its just about perfect everytime. It gets pretty pricy if you go alot but you cant put a price on not getting skin cancer.
designergirl designergirl 10 years
After two years of trying every fake tan product on the market, I've decided to just accept my ghost like whiteness. If Cate Blanchett and Scarleet Johansson don't need them, neither do I.
katie225 katie225 10 years
i love jergen's daily glow (adds a tiny bit of color with every application) because i don't like showing up one day all tan when the day before i was totally white. i like gradually increasing the tan so i can see how much i like, when to stop, and i can keep it up every day. i like that it's a moisturizer, too, so i can skip the lotion part (though the tanner still gravitates towards those dry patches! not as bad, though). oh, and i don't really have a problem with tan hands with this one. just a little bit of advice: towel off gently after a shower when you have the fake tan. don't rub. the tanner is dying your skin, so you don't want to rub the tanner off completely. and you don't want to stain your towels. : )
jathemelis jathemelis 10 years
Whatever, the spray tanners are much better. I almost never have streaks with the spray ons, while the lotions are much trickier to get even. A trick I use is to wait 5 minutes after application and gently buff with a washcloth. It seems to really blend any potential splotchy spots.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
I've never done this and really never understood it. I think it's probably a great alternative to baking in the sun though.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
I've gotten some good stuff from Avon before. I think adding a bit of lotion to the self tanner helps avoid streaks. Also, rub it in extremly well. I always wear some little disposable gloves when I use it, I tried without once and ended up with some tan palms. Eeek. Anyway, it takes some practice but it's so much better for your skin than baking in the sun that it's worth the trouble.
DearSugar DearSugar 10 years
Calibabi: I think the best one to use is Kiehl's Sun Free Self Tanning Formula. Honest, there's really nothing else I feel good & confident about recommending. Tho maybe the ladies have some other tried & true options????
calibabi calibabi 10 years
any suggestions on the best self-tanner to use??
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
This is great I always get it wrong when it comes to self tanner I have some pretty embarrassing stories too. LOL!
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