This past weekend while people watching I noticed that the fake-n-bakes were out in droves. Good to see because those people were probably faking their tan in lieu of exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. Bad to see because some of the at-home culprits were SO noticeably amateur. Either they were too orange, too streaky or the application was uneven (i.e. the product was applied to their legs but not their feet despite sandal wear).
In an effort to save those of you into sunless tanning from the same problems the poor souls I saw seemed to suffer from, below are some products worth trying that have received excellent reviews, as well as a few tips for applying them.
Lancôme 'Flash Bronzer' Tinted Self-Tanning Body Gel is known for giving great color year-round. It’s been called a “beach vacation in a bottle” so why not look like you’re returning from a fabulous vacation everyday?
Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel has ingredients that prevent premature signs of aging as well as gives skin a sun-kissed glow. Use year-round for a light, natural-looking tan.
Neutrogena Micro Mist Tanning Spray is easy to apply, has a great airbrushed effect and the best part? It dries in 5 minutes or less. Just spray, shower and be on your way!
St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing lotion is heralded as one of the best sunless tanning products on the market. Luxury in a bottle, it gives one of the most authentic glows of all the best sunless tanning products tested.
L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Gelee is the least expensive of all the products listed and almost never leaves a streaky finish. However, be warned: this product works best on those with fair skin for the most natural look.
Tips for application:
1. Don’t shave your legs for several hours before applying products, especially if you have sensitive skin.
2. Use a soft cotton washcloth to exfoliate your skin in the shower. Using anything harsher than that could leave a streaky finish or cause skin irritation.
3. Don’t waste your money on the expensive department store exfoliators. They don’t do more than the brands found in drugstores. Just look for a product with polyethylene as its active ingredient.
4. Wear a fitting, dark swimsuit when you apply. Wear the same thing each time you apply for the best (and most natural) look.
5. Wash your hands every 5 minutes for an even application.
6. Sensitive areas: The skin on your lips and nipples are virtually unaffected by tanning products so feel free to rub right over (it’s suggested in fact, to avoid build up on the surrounding areas). Your bikini area however, is very different. Don’t bother applying in this area as product doesn't absorb well.
7. Freckles and moles will darken like the rest of your skin. This is an unavoidable fact. Scars (stretch marks included!), however can be unpredictable. Newer scars have a tendency to absorb more.
8. Beware of the too dark belly button! After applying tanning product, dip a cotton swab in regular body lotion and wipe the belly button area. If the next day it is still too dark, dip another cotton swab in liquid eye makeup remover and wipe again.
9. Don’t kid yourself; even if your tanning product claims to contain sun screen, it isn’t enough. Apply tanning products at night and apply sunscreen liberally and daily.
10. DON’T FORGET TO APPLY TO THE BACKS OF YOUR HANDS, WRISTS, ANKLES AND THE TOPS OF YOUR FEET TO BLEND WITH ARMS AND LEGS!
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