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Prep Your Skin for Self Tanners

Posted Mar 26 2009 3:39pm

Now that spring is here, it’s time to think about showing some leg. The season's skirts, flirty dresses and cropped pants will look fabulous with a touch of tan on your legs. But with all the health risks getting a real tan poses, getting your tan from a bottle is a much safer alternative. Today’s modern tans are the healthy kind that come from a bottle, not from overexposure to the sun’s damaging rays. But before you start slathering on the self-tanner, take some time to do a little prep work to ensure an even, natural-looking tan.

The best time to apply your self-tanner is a couple of hours before you go to bed. Plan to shave your legs the morning that you want to apply it. You’ll want to do this ahead of time to achieve maximum smoothness, but not too far in advance or you’ll be left with razor stubble. A great razor to use is the Schick Quattro for Women ($15). With four blades and soothing strips containing vitamin E and aloe vera, you’ll be left with one smooth shave.

When you are ready to apply your self tanner, take a quick bath or shower. Use a soft cotton washcloth ($6) all over to help smooth out dry skin. Your first inclination may be to use a loofah – but don’t! Loofah’s can actually create rough spots and will work against achieving smoothness. Stick with a good cotton cloth that will be gentle on your skin.

The next step for prep is to exfoliate. Do this by using a gentle scrub on your face and neck, then on the rest of your body (including your hands). Try a natural Citrus Facial Scrub from Burt’s Bees ($8). Enriched with ground almonds, oats, pecans and rose petals, this scrub will gently exfoliate your face (don’t forget your neck area too) and leave you will a revitalized glow to complement your summer look. Follow suit for the rest of your body using a scrub such as Dermalogica Exfoliating Body Scrub ($30) or Energizing Sugar Body Scrub from Neutrogena ($10).

After exfoliation, towel off and you're ready to begin your self tanning application. With a little patience and preparation, your healthy self-applied tanner can look just as amazing as the real thing! Happy Tanning!
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