It’s finally warm enough to bust out our mini dresses, tank tops, and skirts that haven’t seen the sunshine in months. The problem is that we suddenly realize that we’re so pale our little white dresses match our skin a little too closely. A little bronze glow makes us look healthier, slimmer, and feel better. But we don’t want to mess with the UV rays from the sun or a tanning booth (hello premature wrinkles, burns, freckles, and skin cancer). Getting a spray tan is the healthiest way to get the color that you’re looking for! From $10-$50 a pop, going to a salon to get a Mystic, Versa, or airbrush tan is just too expensive seeing as the glow only lasts up to a week. Here are some tips to get the same look for less by getting a spray tan at home.
You should exfoliate your body the day that you’re going to spray tan. Take a hot shower (higher heat is more effective at cleaning than cooler temperatures) and massage your skin with a body scrub using circular motions to slough off dead skin. You can also use a loofah or washcloth to exfoliate. Your body is constantly shedding dead skin but we want to more efficiently speed up the process right before a spray tan because the color only sits on the top layer of skin and your spray tan will last longer on exfoliated skin. Rinse with a body wash because you don’t want your scrub to leave your skin oily, you should ideally be totally clean and dry with no product on your skin.
Above: Sephora Collection Tinted Self-Tanning Body Mist ; St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Spray (both from Sephora)
2. Prep skin.
You should not be wearing deodorant, perfume, or makeup. If wear nail polish, make sure that your nails are done before you spray tan, so that nail polish remover won’t take off your tan after it is applied. Apply a tiny bit of lotion to the extra dry areas of your body such as your elbows, knees, and bottoms of your feet. Also apply a touch of lotion to the palms of your hands so these areas don’t absorb an excess amount of spray tanning product. Put your hair up and away from your face and neck, and put on a shower cap if you want to shield your hair.
Choose a tanning solution based on what you’re looking for. You want to look naturally bronzed, so select a shade that would be within the realm of what the melanin in your skin could naturally produce. If you are very pale, start off with a lighter shade, you can always go darker next time. You may want to spray yourself in your bathroom or bathtub, as the fan makes the slight scent of the product dissipate more quickly. Evenly spray the product everywhere, and smooth out areas that you may have missed with your hands. Then, immediately wash the palms of your hands so they do not become darkened due to the increased exposure to the product. Allow your body to dry for at least 10 minutes.
After your skin is entirely dry, you can wear loose-fitting clothing. I would recommend spraying at night so that you can sleep away the 6-8 hours the product needs to achieve the best effect. Take a shower in the morning – don’t exfoliate! – and you’re ready to go! If you see that you’ve missed a spot you can spray some tanner onto that area. If an area is too dark, cut a lemon and rub the area, the acid will help remove it. Moisturize your skin to extend the life of your tan.
Above: ULTA Bronze Glow Tinted Sunless Continuous Spray ; Vita Liberata Rapid Tan Mousse (both from Ulta Beauty)
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Featured image: 1