Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Self Tanning Hints

The myth that a self-tanning product will offer some UV protection, much like that from a UV induced tan, is simply not so. Self-tanning products do not induce a melanin response in the skin, do not offer any UV protection, and do not offer SPF unless specified. They simply oxidize proteins in the surface layers of the skin producing the tanned color. This is why it is always a great idea to exfoliate and hydrate before each application. Exfoliation makes the application easier and more even. It will also ensure that drier areas like the elbows and knees will not absorb more product (which result in more color) and offer a longer lasting color. Perfect.

Exfoliate, hydrate, apply the self-tanner before you go to bed and wake up looking like you have spent a week at the beach. If you want more color apply the self tanner a couple if nights in a row. Remember . . . whenever you apply a self tan product you MUST wash your hands well after applying otherwise your stained hands will give away the secret of your gorgeous tan. If you have your legs waxed, wait at least a day before applying a self tanner as it will sit in the pores where the hair was removed and give you an awkward 'speckled' look.

The easier route? Find a spa that offers a “buff and tan” service. They will exfoliate, hydrate, and apply your self-tan for you. This is an 'all over' experience and will get areas you cannot reach yourself. Or, if you want to walk out the door with a tan that very minute . . . request a spray tan. You could even ask for body contouring . . . six-pack anyone? No matter which method you choose, make sure to use a body lotion to keep the skin hydrated. A good lotion will not only make your skin look great, it will keep your color longer. Which self tanner should you try? Stay tuned.