Self tanning products are becoming more and more popular, many tanning salons offer a spray on tan, but many tanners still choose to get their self tan in the privacy of their own home. If you are considering using a self tanner, here are some tips on how to get the best results.
WHEN SHOULD I APPLY THE SELF TANNING PRODUCT? ? Since most self-tanning lotions have no sunscreen for protection outdoors, the best time to use self-tanners is at night before going to bed. If done earlier, allow a minimum of two hours and test for staining before putting back on your regular clothes. Note that if your lotion contains extra coloring formula or if you're using a spray, staining could be a major issue and you won't to go to bed and stain bedding; so use these types of products earlier in the evening or when you have more time to "dry" after applying (at least a few hours).
WHAT DO I NEED TO APPLY THE SELF TANNER? ? Gather your necessary items together. Choose what you want to wear for tanning lines, whether it's a swimsuit, undergarments, etc. Use caution in your choices because the product may stain or run so choose old clothing, especially without nylon (permanently stains this fabric), and not loose clothing (to inhibit runny lotions). You will also need to be able to shower or wash beforehand. So round up a cotton washcloth or whatever you use to exfoliate your skin (sponge and other product, etc.), soap, any moisturizer you may want to use, your self-tanning product, disposable clear gloves, a nail brush, a ball cap, hair pins or accessories to keep hair from your face, a sponge roller brush or paintbrush if you will apply product to your back, and access to a clock.
TIMING NOTE: if you are not going to use disposable gloves, you will need to wash your hands and scrub your nails about every minutes while applying the tanning product so that they don't stain orange. Hence the need for the timer mentioned above.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?? Begin with a shower or washing to remove dead, flaky and dry skin. Wash with your washcloth or exfoliation sponge, gently going in a circular motion. Special areas of focus are your knees and lower legs, your ankles and feet, and your elbows. When finished, dry yourself, including your hair, thoroughly, and get hair up off neck. Let steam out of the room, if you'll be continuing in there. (Remember: moisture like steam & sweat can cause the self-tanning product to run / wear off.)
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I GET TO THE MOISTURIZER STAGE?? Gently rub moisturizer into the special areas of focus mentioned above (knees, ankles, etc) to prepare (prep) for the self-tanning solution. Some apply this to the face and neck areas, too.
SELF-TANNER STAGE? Now it's time to suit up and apply your tanning product. Note: beginners should practice on small areas first.
FIVE MINUTE LEGS - Begin by applying the tanning product to your legs. Work with one leg at a time, applying in a circular motion from top to bottom. Don't rub it in thin. You want a good even coating. For feet and ankles, go ahead and apply a little thinner coating. You can skip sides of feet, toes and heels or go lighter here or mix in moisturizer a little for easier coverage (knees, too). (If you are not using gloves, work quickly and check timer to wash up when finished with this stage).
FIVE MINUTE UPPER BODY ? Continue applying product upwards in circular motion. Most prefer to cover the torso first, using the roller brush or paintbrush on the back, then continue with the arms. If it's taking awhile to cover all areas and you're not using gloves, remember to check the clock and wash hands and nails thoroughly before continuing. (Treat elbows as you did knees).
FIVE MINUTE NECK-UP ? Time to finish up with the neck, face, ears, nose, cheeks. "Go thin" is the motto for these areas.
DRYING STAGE ? Now it's time for drying. Wait at least 30 minutes before coming into contact with anything. Stand and read or sit on the edge of a chair and enjoy computer games, television, a friendly phone chat or something. After the 30 minutes, you can wear loose clothing. Skip the jeans scene, though, and other tighter clothing to allow for around one to two hours. Check your specific product instructions for guidelines.
FOLLOW UP STAGE - Keep in mind different products have different drying times, so you don't want to get wet, even by sweating, for at least three hours. Depending upon the tanning product and your kin and genetics, you will want to wash, exfoliate the dry, flaky, dead skin cells and re-apply product every few days or so. Check your product for guidelines and monitor your skin for any rashes or other irritations that could develop.
This article was written by Jon Yarbrough
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