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How To Get the Best Sunless Tan

A sunless tan is a safer tan, according to many health authorities. UV tanning beds are old news, causing premature aging, skin damage and spots. So save your skin and get that bronzed L.A. look with safe, topical, sunless tanning options.

Go to a Tanning Salon

Airbrushed sunless tanning is by far the best-looking, easiest way to brown up.

A technician sprays your body by hand, giving you an even tone and streak-free color. Spray tanning booths are a great option too, but be sure that your salon protects your eyes, mucous membranes and lungs - though the chemicals in sunless tanner are safe for your skin, they shouldnít be ingested.

Tanning salons are a great, inexpensive beauty boost. Think about $60 per session.

Sunless Tanning at Home

Tanning at home is easy, discreet and inexpensive. To give yourself the best at home tan, you need to remember one, key thing: exfoliate!

Self tanning cream reacts to the top layer of your skin, and you want the color to develop as evenly as possible. Be careful with your hands, thicker skin develops color more quickly, so be remember to wash your hands after using products.

At home tanning products can range from $8 to $80, but can be used multiple times.

Do you need expensive self tanning lotion?

No. Drug store brands are just as effective as high end products, with a few variations in color, tone or longevity. The real factor should be color, not cost - find a brand that compliments your skin and gives you a glow, not a stain.

Tip: itís best to start with a light tan shade if youíre trying self tanning for the first time.


One Step or Gradual?

Single application tanners take you from zero to baked in one application, while others will build a gradual color over days or weeks.

Which type of self tanner to use is a matter of courage, and time. Taking the safe route and building your tan over a few days could save you a streaky mess if you donít apply your tanner perfectly, but some veterans love the quick fix of an instant tan.

How to Apply Self Tanner to Your Face

Exfoliate your face and neck the night before. Put your hair up and apply petroleum jelly around the hairline and under your eyes (in the same place youíd put concealer). Lighter skin under the eyes makes you look younger and healthier.

Next, apply your face-friendly self tanner as you would moisturizer, blending outward to the hairline, carefully around and under the jaw and down your neck.

Apply lightly to ears as well. Loreal, Jergens and Coppertone make great facial tanners that get great reviews for color and streak-free application.

Wait for your color to develop and donít touch your face for at least an hour. You should start to see results within 4 hours. (Yes, itís a slow process!) And, remember to wear sunscreen the next day.

Tips on Self Tanning
  1. Exfoliate! (Did I mention that?)

  2. Keep a wet washcloth nearby and sweep your palms over it after youíve applied the lotion if you want to darken your hands, but not your palms.

  3. Put petroleum jelly on your fingernails and cuticles to prevent staining.

  4. First time tanners should try their new products on a Friday night, that way, any mess-ups can be scrubbed off and mellowed with a private weekend at home.
Good luck with your sunless tan!

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