Do you have any thoughts or advice of self tanning products? I've tried some, but have yet to find one that works for me. I'm really after that sun-kissed look, but I'm hesitant to spend time in the sun because I know how it is for me. Can you help?
Sun Kissed Wannabe
Dear Sun Kissed,
I too prefer to stay out of the sun when I can. It's damaging and aging to the skin. Full disclosure, when I'm on a sun vacation I do partake in a little tanning. I apply my sunscreen very regularly and am very, very careful not to ever let my skin burn. When I'm at home in the city...I turn to a self tanning lotion. It gives me a nice colour to my skin and make me feel a little healthier. Here are my tips for using self tanning lotions/sprays and my faves.
Happy fake tanning!
The number one tip for a natural looking tan from a bottle is exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! Self tanners are best applied on very smooth skin free of flakes. Self tanners react with the top layer of your skin...so smooth skin results in the best application. Use a loofah or body scrub to remove dead skin in the shower. Do not skip this step or your application will not be successful.
Second moisturize very dry areas like your elbows and knees. You don't need to moisturize your whole body before application. It's also not a bad idea to apply vaseline or other barrier to finger nails, toe nails and cuticles.
Lastly...apply very carefully and don't go too dark. Smooth even strokes and not too heavy over areas that don't tan naturally like your inner arms. Start application at your feet and work your way up your body taking your time. Don't apply self tanner if you're in a hurry. Make an event out of it for yourself but easy on the wine or your application may not turn out well. ;)
Wait at least ten minutes before getting dressed and don't go in the water for at least eight hours after application. Keep your skin very well moisturized in the days after tan application to help it last longer.
Here are my favourite self tanners:
If you haven't had luck with creams in the past, then try a self tanning spray. They can be much easier to apply. I like Neutrogena Micro Mist.
St. Tropez is a classic in the self tanning industry and I've never had a problem with application or colour. They also have a product that you apply in the shower. I haven't tried it, but if you have I'd love your feedback.
My new favourite is Kiehl's Sun Free Self Tanning Formula. It's terrific if you don't like a lot of fragrance. You can use this formula for your face and body...but I'm personally not a fan of self tanners on the face. Keep using your foundation for a little extra colour on the face.