Headed somewhere tropical and don't exactly want to look like Snow White? While pale skin is gorgeous and should totally be celebrated 24/7, I've reached out to pros for tips on DIY self-tanning for spring. If you follow the advice below, not a soul will know your tan comes from a tube.
By the way, I think you should be loud and proud about your "tube tan," because it means you decided to protect your skin. If you regularly use tanning beds or are considering trying one, I would highly suggest you decide against it. Here's a scary fact from Allure that might convince you to put on the brakes before you head to the indoor tanning salon: "If you start indoor tanning before the age of 35, you can increase your risk of melanoma by up to 75 percent." Whatever you ultimately decide to do is obviously up to you, but I hope this stat at least makes you stop and think about it!
For full details on how to get the perfect DIY tan, I reached out to Dr. Bank, the founding dermatologist at The Center For Dermatology in Mt. Kisco, NY. He broke down some easy-to-follow hacks to get the longest-lasting, smoothest, and most naturally-looking DIY tan possible. Have fun, non-beach bunny!
1. Match Your Skin Tone
If you want a deep tan fast, it might be tempting to reach for the darkest lotion available. But don't do it! Bank says, "Try to match the tanner closest to your skin tone. If you are fair-skinned, go for a light label; if you are olive-skinned, try a medium, if you are in the bronze to brown category, go for the dark."
2. Avoid Orange Tints
"Spot test somewhere unnoticeable like under your arm to make sure a dark tanning product doesn't leave your skin looking too orange," advises Bank.
3. Exfoliate Beforehand
Cherry Sugar Scrub, $12.45, TheBEEKEEPERshop
To get the smoothest application, Banks recommends, "Before applying self tanner, make sure to exfoliate in the shower using a washcloth." My personal favorite is the super sweet and refreshing cherry sugar scrub above!
4. Apply Moisturizer
Cucumber Melon Body Butter, $10, Botanical Bars
Once out of the shower, "smooth on some of your favorite moisturizer," says Bank.
5. Wait After Showering
"Wait a while after showering to self tan. The heat in the shower causes your pores to dilate," explains Bank, "which can make your tanner streak." After waiting about twenty minutes, you should be good to go!
6. Use Instant Tanners
St. Tropez Express Bronzing Mousse, $44, Sephora
"Choose products that instantly deposit color on the skin," Bank tells me, "so you can catch any areas you missed instantly."
7. Consider Your Skin Type
Clarins Gel Auto-Bronzant Self-Tanning Gel, $38, Sephora
If you have oily skin, Bank suggests using "a light, noncomedogenic formula." Got dry skin? Opt for tanners with built-in moisturizing ingredients!