It’s finally being consistently warm here. (Ha, at least it was when I wrote this up…) YaHOO! Away go the sweaters, boots, scarves, gloves and hats! Out come the capris, tee-shirts, flip flops and sunless tanner! Yes, sunless tanner. Let me explain…
One of my very favorite things about summer is the sunshine and being able to play outside. I love camping, hiking (like nature trail hiking, not like climbing 1000 feet in elevation kind of hiking), and playing in the river, lake, ocean, ect. But that’s A LOT of time in the sun. I love the sun, but too much of a good thing… you know the rest. Skin cancer… definitely not a good thing.
However, I also don’t particularly love being the reason people are blinded at the beach. Let me tell you, I am the whitest white girl out there. At least from my hips down – I am like sun-repellant, reflective surface white. The concept of snow blindness… so bright it hurts to have the sun bounce off of it into your eyes… can be applied to my legs. I don’t seem to have an issue getting a tan above my hips, though. Weird, I know.
So… in order to balance out my skin tone a little, and save the sight of beach-goers everywhere, I use sunless tanner on my legs. Why? Besides the reasons mentioned above, it’s easy, it’s safer than laying in the sun for hours and hours (who has that kind of time anyway?!?) and it only take a few minutes a day.
Tanned skin is something most everyone wants. Someone, somewhere decided that dark skin is beautiful, which is awesome is you are naturally dark-skinned. All skin tones are beautiful, but I can relate to “not having the tan I wish I did.” Just walk the seasonal aisles at any retail store like Target or even the grocery store. There are cartfuls of products dedicated to tanning.
Sunless tanning is easy and quick. Never tried it? Well, here’s the how:
1) You will need a sunless tanner. Products come in a variety of forms: lotions and sprays are the most common. Brands are innumerable. It is available almost anywhere. It’s not the cheapest stuff, but one bottle will probably last most (if not all) of the season. Disclaimer: Sunless tanners have a distinct scent. The scent isn’t noticeable after the tanner dries, but some products do a better job of masking it than others. If that’s a concern, smell the product before you purchase it. I personally use lotion, as it’s a little cheaper. The spray is a little more convenient for spots like the back of your legs.
2) Getting your tan is the hardest part. DON’T RUSH IT! This is easiest to do nude. Or in your undies if nude is too much for you. It’s best to start with a clean canvas… like after you get out of the shower. Also, you will get better results if you shave the day before. Apply your tanner and let it dry for 10-15 minutes. Anything the tanner gets on will be stained, thus why nude is the safest bet. After it’s good and dry you’re free to get dressed. I do my tanner right after I get out of the shower. By the time I’ve brushed through my hair, brushed my teeth, and possibly applied make-up I’m dry and don’t have to worry about staining my clothes.
When applying, use thin coats of your tanner and let it dry completely between coats. Only do one, or maybe two, coats to start with then wait 4-6 hours for your skin to darken before you do any more. Sometimes it can take a day or two to reach the shade you want. WARNING: The thicker you apply the tanner, the higher your chance of looking orange! Go light and let your tan develop before you add more. And then STOP! Don’t keep adding, three or four coats should be the max! Did you see the Friends episode where Ross gets a spray tan? STOP. Again, too much of a good thing…
3) If you used a lotion, make sure you WASH your hands afterwards! Otherwise your palms will be stained… I’ve had this happen before, it’s soo not hot. Another solution: wear rubber gloves when applying tanner. Afterward, lay them out to dry and you can use them again. If you’re hands do get stained… lie and say you were making pots out of clay and the clay it stained your hands. People will believe you. Promise. Unless they actually make pottery. =]
Other things you should know include: You will have to reapply tanner every few days to maintain your tan. In between, use a good moisturizer. Sunless tanners are very drying, so make sure you keep your skin hydrated. Hydrated skin will hold the color longer. Drinking water will also help. Shaving and bathing will exfoliate some of your tan, which is why reapplication is necessary.
Do you use sunless tanner? Any helpful hints or tips?