For many people, a good tan is an "essential" part of summer. Luckily, there are ways to get that gorgeous glow without exposure to the sun's harmful rays.
Cheryl Kramer Kaye, beauty director of Redbook magazine, shares her secrets of getting a great sunless tan with Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez.
There are products for a light glow or a deeper tan that can be used at home, or there's the option of using a sunless tanning booth.
Preparation is just as important as the product, but by using a few simple techniques anyone can get a natural tan without streaks or blotches.
Part I - Do It Yourself
- Exfoliate your face and body skin in the shower.
The color will adhere more to dead skin so you want to be as smooth as possible. Focus especially on elbows, knees, heels, etc.
Try Lancome Resurface Microdermabrasion Body, $46 (at lancome.com).
Be gentle on your face. Try Clean & Clear Scrub, $7 - (at drug and mass retailers)
- Apply to face.
Pull all of your hair back. Apply the product evenly, avoiding your eyebrows and hair, but coming as close to them as possible. If you do get self-tanner on your brows, take a q-tip with some soap to remove it.
Be sure to get the self-tanner in and around your ears, too!
- Apply to body.
Tips for specific areas:
Feet: Put your foot down on the ground and apply cream to every visible area, including in between your toes. Don't do the base of your feet.
Hands/Wrists: Probably the hardest part to get right. You need to wash your hands with soap when you're through applying because you don't want tan palms. But, if you wash it off just at the wrists you'll look like you're wearing flesh-colored gloves.
Solution: When you're done, wash your hands well, trying not to let water run down your wrists and arms. Then dry your hands. Now slide the inside of your right arm down the inside of your left arm, just past your wrist. Do the same on the other side.
- Allow product to dry.
Stand around naked for as long as you can, up to about 30 minutes. Ideally, stand in front of a fan to dry more quickly. (You can put on underwear after about five minutes.) Don't lean your arms against your legs or do anything similar that risks transferring color from one part of the body to another. - In about 3 hours, you should see the results.
Don't shower for at least 6 hours or you'll wash away your tan.
Kaye recommends self-tanning about 30 minutes before going to bed so the tan has time to dry before you sleep, and then set before you shower. She also says to use lotion daily to keep skin hydrated and prevent flaking and unevenness.
Part 2 - Choosing The Perfect Product
- A Healthy Glow Mositurizers with Self-Tanner
These moisturizers offer just a little bit of color ... this is your perfect, every-day kind of glow. Most tanning products come in a range of shades for various skin tones ... look for one that matches your skin.
Today's model, Becky, used Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer, $8 (at drug and mass retailers). It comes in made for Fair, Medium, and Medium/Tan Skin Tones, and helps firm skin while you use it.
Another product to try: Neutrogena Color Boosting Sunblock, $10 (at drug and mass retailers) is made for fair or medium skin tones, and has SPF 30 so you can go outside and "get a tan" without damaging your skin.
- Self-Tanners For A Natural Looking Tan
These offer a "tan" while still looking natural.
"These are great if you have to go swimsuit shopping and you can't bear to see your pasty bod in the three-way mirror!" Kaye said.
Our model used an unusual product that many people at home probably haven't seen: Model Co Tan Self-Tanning Gloves, $36 (at Bluemercury stores and bluemercury.com). These gloves are saturated with self-tanner. You just slip your hand in and rub the glove over your skin. The formula is very quick-drying.
You can also try a gel, mousse, cream or spray. There's not one type that's "the best" ... choosing one is a matter of personal preference. Kaye like gels because they dry quickly, but others might like the hydration of a cream, or the ease of applying a mousse. -
Below are Kaye's top picks in each category.
Gel: L'Oreal Self Tanning Gelee, $9 (drug and mass retailers)
Mousse: Clinique Body Quick Bronze Tinted Self-Tanner Mousse, $18.50 (clinique.com)
Cream: Clarins Delicious Self-Tanning Cream, $40 (clarins.com)
Spray: Bliss A tan for all seasons $36 (blissworld.com)
Part 3 - The Deepest Level Of Faux-Tanning Available: The Spray Tan
A spray tan allows you to look like you've just come back from the beach, offering a dramatic, yet natural-looking color.
According to Hollywood Tans, their salon treatments begin at $20.
It only takes about two minutes to receive a spray tan, and you will see results instantly with full results in just 4-5 hours. One spray session will give you a color that is 3-4 shades darker than your natural skin tone and will lasts up to 7 days.
The spray itself is essentially just like the self-tanners you would apply at home, but since a machine is applying it to you, there's a better chance it will go on evenly.
Typically, you would receive this tan in the buff, though of course our model will be wearing a swimsuit!
Below are Cheryl's tips for a successful spray-tan session:
- Remember to exfoliate before hitting the salon.
- Stand as still as possible, facing forward (then backward).
- Be sure to towel off completely when getting out of the booth, so the tan doesn't come out too dark.