How to Tan at Home Like a Pro

Image courtesy Vogue.com

Achieving a golden glow is one of the easiest ways to refresh your skin for the onset of warm weather. While baking in the sunshine is certainly a feel-good summer pastime, it’s not the safest way to achieve the tan skin you crave. With a few key products from our extensive collection of self-tanning beauty products, you’ll be on your way to rich, flawless color in no time. Here’s what we suggest to achieve a beach-worthy look—without the harmful ultraviolet rays.

  1. Exfoliate Your Skin First

The key to successful at-home tanning is smooth skin. If you leave behind traces of roughness, your product will inevitably get caught up in the flakes and leave dark, unsightly patches of color behind. Use a gentle product, like John Masters Organics Raspberry & Orange Body Scrub ($16.99), to slough away dead cells and leave it soft and supple. This one is ideal for all skin types and leaves behind a soft, fruity scent.

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2.Dry Skin Off Completely

Although you may be tempted to apply your tanning product immediately after stepping out of the shower, it’s important to wait until your skin is completely dry. For best results, dab your skin dry and wait at least 10 minutes before the next step. This will prevent those telltale streaks.

3. Add a Touch of Lotion

A hint of moisture is essential for those areas of the skin that are naturally dry. Use a lightweight product, like Elta MD Lotion ($13.99), to hydrate the elbows, knees, and ankles. The key here is to apply the moisturizer sparingly; too much will affect the way the tanner blends into your skin, but too little won’t soak up any lingering dryness.

4. Apply Your Self-Tanner

From mousses to liquids to creams to sprays, the self-tanning world is rife with options. Using a spray product, such as Bliss FatGirlSlim Hide and Glow Sleek ($33.99), makes it easy to reach difficult spots, like the back of the body. Be sure to select a shade that’s designed specifically for your skin tone—don’t opt for the color that you’re trying to achieve. A gradual formula is a great choice for beginners who want to monitor their color and stop when it reaches a certain intensity. Try Fake Bake Amplify Daily Lotion Gradual Tan ($15.99).

5. Clean Up the Mistakes

The odd mistake here or there is inevitable. With time those will become less frequent, but you can easily fix any errors with one very simple cooking ingredient: lemon. Simply rub half of the citrus fruit onto the affected area for a couple of minutes. Then smooth it out with a slightly damp towel.

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