How to Get the Perfect Sunless Tan

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As a dancer for professional dance teams, I know all about the self-tan. I have spent years trying all the options. I used to go to the tanning bed but have sworn off the bed because of the damage it causes, the heightened chances for skin cancer and the aging of the skin.

Here are several methods that I use depending on what I am doing and how dark I want to be. This might be frustrating at first. Who wants orange palms and streaky legs? But learn from my experience. Use the tricks of the trade I have learned and have fun with a beautiful looking tan that is healthy!

•   Exfoliate your skin with a cotton washcloth in the bath or shower. Loofas can cause a streaky affect. You can also use an exfoliator. Any kind works, so don’t pay a lot.
•   Shave and lotion your skin. Allow time for the lotion to dry.

Get Tan Options:
Mystic Tan at a Tanning Salon
•   Cost from $20 to $30, can be less when you purchase a package
•   Go to:
•   Lasts one week
•   Results: dark tan all over
•   Drawbacks: High cost, need to be careful to wash off hands and feet or they will be dark orange!
•   Tips: Always wear the hair cover, goggles and nose plugs or cotton in your nose. Cover your hands and feet with barrier cream/lotion.
•   For perfect feet that are not too dark, wear the foot coverings and blend a little barrier cream/lotion onto the top of your feet and your ankles. After your Mystic session, rub some of the tanning solution from your legs onto the tops of your feet. This way you will have a nice glow but no scary dark toes or soles of the feet.
•   Put a little barrier cream/lotion on your elbows, ankles, knees, and tops of your feet. You my want to put a tiny bit in your belly button, anywhere your skin is thicker the tan will become much darker.

Self Tanning Lotion
•   Costs from $7 to $30 a bottle, many applications
•   Lasts 2 to 3 days
•   Results: light glow to medium tan depending on type and number of applications
•   Drawbacks: Hard to reach your whole body.
•   Tips: use one with a tinted color or bronzer so you can see where you applied it. This will help with the streaky look you can get with lotions.
•   Wash your hands several times during application to prevent dark palms, use a nail brush or old tooth brush to scrub around and under your nails. Another option is gloves; try the cheap plastic gloves sold in a big box.

Self Tanning At-Home Spray
•   Costs $9 for the spray gun, which you keep and use again. Each cartridge will cost $8 which has several applications.
•   Lasts 3 to 4 days
•   Results: Great all-over tan, costs less than the salon. Use several applications for a dark tan.
•   Drawbacks: Can be messy to clean up around where you tan.
•   Tips: To control the mess, spray yourself in your shower or put a big towel on the floor. Use the small sponge that comes with the applicator gun to wipe up any drips or dark spots. Or use your hands with gloves on.

Tips for All Types of Tans:
•   5 to 10 minutes after your application put some plain lotion on your knees,
elbows, ankles etc. to lighten the color.
•   Let your tan dry on your skin before getting dressed.
•   Don’t shower for 8 hours.
•   Tanning solution will wash out of most fabrics. Add some OxyClean to your wash just in case.
•   Blend a little solution onto the backs of your hands to match your arms. Wipe off your palms after that.
•   Cover the skin on your face with a lightweight lotion at least 10 minutes before tanning. This will prevent the tan from settling in fine lines.
•   Wipe some of the solution off of your armpits so they don’t get too dark.
•   Most sunless tanners do not contain sunscreen. So if you will be outside, put on sunscreen after your sunless tan is dry.
•   Apply moisturizer to you skin every day to keep your tan as long as possible.

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