How To Stay Tan In Winter Without Going To The Tanning Bed — PHOTOS

We know, we know: Tanning beds are the absolute worst. If you're anything like me, you're trying to find a safe way to stay bronze this winter, but it's tricky. Even normal to oily skin can turn dry and sensitive thanks to indoor heating and low humidity, which makes it difficult for bronzers and self-tanners to stay on. Luckily, I found out how to stay tan in winter with a few flawless tips.

You can always go for a spray tan, but if you're a DIY kind of gal, you're in luck. There are a ton of safe and high-powered products on the market you can use at home to keep your skin looking glowy. The best part? You don't have to spend a ton of money to achieve a perfect tan.

"I don't think the price of the product makes much difference – this is something that goes across the board, not just self-tanners but with all skincare products," said Val Monroe, Beauty Director at O, The Oprah Magazine , according to Huffington Post."Because the large companies who have a lot of R&D, Research & Development, they're the companies you want to trust. So whether the product is $5.99 or $50.99, if they have a good R&D, you're still going to get the good results."

The great news is that the drugstore self-tanner you're eyeing will work just fine. Staying tan in the winter is not only easy, but also easy on the wallet! However, there is some skin prep involved. Here's how to stay tan all winter.

1. Prep Your Skin

Jaclyn Hill on YouTube

You can buy the best self-tanner out there, but if your skin isn't prepared the right way, you'll look like a splotchy orange mess. This video spends a lot of time talking about the pre-application phase — you'll want to shower, exfoliate well (Jaclyn Hill scrubs organic sugar all over her body) and slather body butter on the trickiest parts like your hands, feet, elbows and knees.

2. Shave

Venus Swirl Razor, $11, Amazon

If you're trying to tan your legs, be sure to shave first. If you skip this step, the self-tanner may adhere to your hairs instead of your skin, causing a splotchy look. Plus, shaving is a natural exfoliant so be sure to shave around your ankles and knees.

3. Exfoliate

Sugar in the Raw Turbinado Sugar, $2, Amazon

The skin around your hands, feet, ankles, and elbows can be extra dry and flaky, especially in the winter. You'll want to exfoliate these areas and remove any dead skin so you can apply a seamless layer of self-tanner. Really, it's as simple as grabbing a handful of sugar and scrubbing away.

4. Moisturize

Whether you're applying makeup or self-tanner, well hydrated skin always behaves better.

5. Start Slow

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, $9, Amazon

According to Monroe, you shouldn't go HAM with the self-tanner (right away, anyway). "If you're just starting out, I would say that the gradual one is the best one to start with because it's the easiest to use," she said. "You can apply it like a moisturizer — you want to be careful because you are actually adding color to your skin, but you're going to see a very, very gradual difference in color, almost as if you've been a way for a weekend and you came back and you were slightly tan."

6. Be Careful

Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mouse, $35, Loving Tan

With your face, that is. Always test your chosen product on your collarbone or next before moving onto your face. Next, choose areas where you're naturally tan, like your forehead, the apples of your cheeks, the bridge of your nose, and your chin, according to makeup artist Tamar Vezirian. Vezirian recommends using a gradual formula for your face, so that you can apply accordingly.

Image via Pexels