April 29, 2009

Here are 5 easy steps and tanning tips to get a beautiful natural-looking tan.

1. Before you apply any self tanning lotion or spray, rub yourself smooth.

While you're in the shower, exfoliate; pay special attention to areas with rough skin like elbows, knees, ankles and heels. Dry off well - water can prevent the tanner from absorbing evenly - and keep skin lotion-free.

2. Begin at the bottom when applying your self tanning products.

To prevent creases on your stomach and back caused by bending over while your self-tanner is still wet, apply product to your feet and legs first, then move upward. A new breed of spray-on self-tanners and bronzers are so light, they dry in about two minutes, meaning you can literally spray and go.

3. Layer on several coats of self tanning lotion or spray.

To achieve deep color, apply two or three thin coats (as you would nail polish) and wait 10 minutes for each to dry. If you apply self-tanner in thick layers, it will drip and streak. Try tinted formulas; they allow for more accurate application.

4. Go easy on your face, no matter which type of self tanning products you're using.

Avoid self-tanner on the face. Because the skin on your face is oilier and the pores larger, the color often ends up uneven. A more flattering option is bronzer.

5. Prolong your tan with oil.

Maximize the life of your faux glow by smoothing on baby oil before hitting a cool-to-warm shower (avoid hot water, as it can dry out the skin and make your tan blotchy). Oil acts like plastic wrap around your skin and minimizes exfoliation caused by the pelting water. The oil will wash off and your tan will stay put.