Q. I have never used self tanner. What do I need to know?
Licensed esthetician Catie Wiggy responds:
A. Now that summer is here and sleeveless shirts and shorter skirts are back in your wardrobe rotation, it’d be nice to have a rich, healthy-looking tan. But everyone knows that spending time outdoors means absorbing harmful UVA/UVB rays from the sun, which isn’t good for your skin.
Sun damage is the leading factor in aging the skin. Most of the time we associate sun damage with hyperpigmentation or sunspots, but the sun’s rays can do so much more damage than we realize. The sun also causes collagen and elastin fibers to break down, ultimately leading to wrinkles and sagging skin.
So how can you achieve that beach-body look without sabotaging your skin? The secret, my friends, is to use a high-quality self-tanner. Follow these steps to achieve even, streak-free coverage:
- Smooth the skin
Go ahead and shave, scrub, buff and polish your skin. In order to get an even application with your self-tanner you should start by prepping the skin by cleansing and exfoliating all areas you plan on applying the tanner. Exfoliating helps to slough off the dead skin cells, ultimately allowing for the tanner to go on evenly without streaking or spotting. The MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Scrub is great for all areas of the face and body!
- Set some boundaries
Apply a lightweight moisturizer like the MyChelle Advanced Argan Oil or raw organic coconut oil to rougher areas of the body like elbows, knees, knuckles and feet. The skin is typically more dry in these areas and can tend to attract excess color, leaving you looking splotchy. Let everything dry completely before starting.
- Grab some gloves
After years of experience with applying self-tanners and a few good mishaps along the way, I have discovered disposable gloves are a self-tanning girl’s best friend. Wearing gloves helps keep your hands clean so you don’t have tanning evidence stained o your skin for 7-10 days. If you forgo the gloves route, just make sure to wash your hands immediately once you’re finished applying. I recommend washing with soap first, then use a scrub to ensure there isn’t a residue of color remaining.
- Saturate in the sunless
Now that your skin is prepped and ready, start applying tanner from your toes upwards. Use a dime or nickel-sized amount for each section of the body and layer more as needed, spreading evenly in circular motions. Once you have covered all areas you want tanned, let the tanner dry before getting dressed (usually 10 minutes is plenty of time). Wear dark clothing to prevent staining, and the looser the fit, the better—tight clothes can cause streaks.
- Keep the Glow
In order to maintain your sunless tan, keep the skin regularly moisturized and reapply tanner every three to five days depending on how dark you want your tan. If you want a lighter look, mix tanner with your favorite body lotion for a subtle looking glow.
Now that you know how to do it, consider using the MyChelle Del Sol Sunless Tanner to enjoy the look of beautifully bronzed skin without the damaging UV rays from the sun or tanning beds. Natural sugars from beets, sugar cane and other plants react safely with the skin’s surface to give a natural-looking “tan.” Licorice and aloe are added to soothe, repair and hydrate for skin that stays youthfully glowing.
If you over do it and look a bit like an oompa lumpa, don’t worry; you can speed up the fading process by taking a quick jump in the pool. The chlorine will start to strip away and break down the color. You can also grab a scrub and textured wash cloth to gently exfoliate skin and lessen the look.