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Get Glowing: Self-Tanning Tips from the Experts

Tips and tricks for achieving the perfect faux glow...

By Liz Mitchell
Posted April 23, 2012

TanningIt’s that time of year again. Tank tops, sundresses, shorts. The only problem is, your skin may not be ready for your summer wardrobe. Avoid the temptation of tanning beds which can have you looking like the Jersey Shore kids—instead, fake it ‘til you make it with these expert sunless tanning tips. 

1. Exfoliate

“Exfoliation is key for an even self-tan,” says Dr. Michael Gold, founder and medical director of Gold Skincare Center in Nashville, TN. To create the perfect canvas for even color, and to slough away any dead skin cells, try a gentle body scrub while in the shower. For your face, use a gentle, exfoliating cleanser to get rid of any flakiness, suggests Gold.

2. Moisturize Dry Areas

To prevent your tanner from accumulating and leaving lines or uneven splotches, apply a thick moisturizer to areas where there are deep folds (such as the neck), and on rough, dry spots such as the elbows, hands, knees and feet, recommends Skin Authority CEO, Celeste Hilling.

3. Choose the Right Color

“Pick a color that matches the shade you would normally turn if bronzed [in the sun],” advises board certified dermatologist and author of “Skin Rules” Debra Jaliman. This is especially important to remember for fair-skinned women, as anything too dark will look unnatural.

4. Apply Your Tanner Limb by Limb

Using long, smooth movements, start with your legs and work your way up. This will inhibit creases in the color caused by bending over. “Take the tanner to the hairline, but not into it, and feather it on the tops of hands, fingers, feet and toes to avoid streaking,” says Hilling. Within two hours, you’ll notice a difference in your skin. If after two hours you want a deeper tan, you can add more product at that time, she notes. “Reapply twice per week to keep the tanned looked going.”

Wait at least 10 minutes before dressing, and stay away from tight clothes, to avoid an uneven result, suggests Veronique Munro, CEO and Founder of Infinity Sun.

With a little effort, you’ll soon look like you were lounging poolside in Miami, without ever leaving home!

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