Pammy Blogs Beauty: Get Your Glow On! Self Tanning: Tips & Tricks

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Get Your Glow On! Self Tanning: Tips & Tricks

Hey Dolls! Its time for a "beauty break"! It has been awhile since I have posted a "Beauty Break" or "tips & tricks" article. This type of writing is totally fun for me! 

So, lets talk self-tanner. As a fair-skinned girl, this is one of my favorite topics! Yes, I know, I should embrace the pale. Really, I do! But, I am not going for a super tan look with self tanner. Even when I self-tan, it is more about "taking the edge off my pale" than getting dark. I mean, really, I am so fair that my skin almost gets a "purple" cast. Is anyone else like this? So, self-tanning is a nice way to lose that pale-white glare or, shall we say, "losing the purple"? 

Now, I must insert here that I am currently pregnant. So, I have really cut-back on the self-tanning. While my OB said that using self-tanners is perfectly fine, I am generally avoiding using products with chemicals. Typically, when I am not pregnant, I self-tan year round. In the summers I self-tan about 1x per week and use a gradual tanner throughout the week. So, while pregnancy has curbed some of my self-tanning, I have many years of experience with self-tanners and have collected many tips over the years.

So, take a moment for a "Beauty Break"! To read more of my thoughts on self-tanning and to hear my Tips & Tricks for good application and results, please keep reading!

Self-tanners have really changed the whole way that I think about "tanning"! Many years ago, I gave up trying to get "tan" in the sun. First of all, it is just not healthy. But also, my skin type just doesn't tan, I burn. So, why burn, peel, and damage your skin? It's just not worth it!

Before moving on to my tips, I must insert my own little public service message here: Wear your sunscreen and get an annual skin cancer screening at a Dermatologist! I lost a dear friend to Melanoma a few years ago (she was only 30!). This has changed the way that I view the sun and skin cancer. There is no question that self-tanners are the safer way to get a tan.

Get Your Glow On! Self-tanning Tips & Tricks:
Here are the tips that I have collected over the years. Enjoy!

  • Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!!! I can't stress this enough. A great application is dependant upon good skin prep. Tanner will cling to dead/dry skin and make your tan uneven and patchy. I find that a mild scrub in the shower works best.  
  • Before applying self-tanner, apply a moisturizing lotion to all the areas that tend to collect too much self tanner: knees, elbows, feet, and ankles. Let that sink in for a couple moments before applying tanner.  
  • Use a sponge applicator for application. I use a sponge "mitt" that I got at Sally's Beauty Supply. I have also heard that some people use the sponge-type paint applicators that you can get at Lowe's/Home Depo. It doesn't absorb too much product either. I just slip the mitt right on my hand and pump out the product onto the mitt (I tend to prefer foam-type self-tanners). Then I just glide the mitt over my body and reapply more product to the mitt as needed. The mitt is great because there is absolutely no mess! I just rinse out the mitt after use. 
  • How to tan your hands: Hands are tricky! I have found this to be the best method of tanning your hands: Use a spray! I apply self-tanner (usually a foam) over my whole body using my sponge mitt. When finished with that, I apply some moisturizing lotion to my hands and then lightly mist a spray self tanner onto my hands (holding can about a foot away). 
  • When you apply your tanner is totally up to you. But, I like to apply at night directly after a shower/exfoliation and before bed. I absolutely can't stand the smell of self-tanners (neither can my poor husband!). No matter how good they might smell initially, as soon as the active ingredient (DHA) interacts with your skin causing the will smell. I apply at night so that I will be asleep when it "smells". Then I wake up with a tan in the morning and can shower off the product! 
  • Extend your tan: I apply a tanner about 1x per week. To keep up my "tan" I use a tan-extending product or a gradual tanner throughout the week. These products are great because they contain a very low level of DHA so they "smell" less and also produce less "tan". I do not do any extra exfoliation before applying gradual tanners. I just apply like a regular body lotion (primarily to my arms and legs) and that's it! Easy-peasy! 
  • Product recommendations? I am sure you are wondering what products I like! Well, for a self-tanner, I love the discontinued Savage Bronze from Sally's. I know, I hate recommending a discontinued product, but this is still my fav. As soon as I knew it was discontinued, I hit about 4 Sally's and stockpiled it (I know, I am a NUT!!!). The tanning mitt I use is also by Savage Bronze, but I know these are available by other brands. I also like the Neutrogena Micro-Mist and Loreal's Sublime Bronze. I am less picky about gradual tanners. I usually pick up whatever is on sale. My goal is always to find a self-tanner that produces a bronze color (so many tanners turn me orange-not a look I want!). 

So, those are my tips! I hope you enjoyed reading. If you have any great self-tanning tips, please leave them in the comments below. I am always looking for more! Also, if you have a great foam self-tanner that you love, please mention it in the comments as I am looking for a new brand to love!


Unknown said...

Hello from a fellow VLS very light skinned female! I have had a very similar past as yours. And now, thank goodness, pale is in!! But I too like to take the edge off that flourescenty look in the summer :). So, I've been spray tanning for years in the summer and supplementing with lotions when desired.

I also like Neutrogena Micro-Mist and Loreal's Sublime Bronze, Jergens is also very nice. AND, I find the skin-firming lotion really does work nicely on the legs.

P.S.: did you know that self-tanners actually make you more susceptible to the sun? It's great that you do yours while sleeping. But otherwise, if you've got one on, it's best to hide-out while it works it's magic.

Lisamarie and Christelle said...

Check out the Josie Maran self tanner for something natural without the chemicals you are trying to avoid - looks great on us pale girls!

Best, Lisamarie

Anonymous said...

Exfoliating is so important. The first time I did a self tan I didn't know about it and went to work all patchy the next day. At that time I had to wear skirts to work and it was one of the worst days for self-esteem!

Prime Beauty said...

Hi Pammy! There are two foam tanners I like--Fake Bake(comes with laxex gloves) and St. Tropez--expensive but worth it!

Unknown said...

Oh, great tip about using a spray for hands! I used to use a cotton wool ball to apply but it's been years since I applied a proper self tanner. I can make use of these tips for a pre-holiday tan!

Unknown said...

@Luci Gabel-Love it my fellow VLS female! :) Yes, while I embrace the is nice to take the glare off, right! :) I agree too...I like the Jergen's firming! Thanks so much for reading and commenting and for your tips!

@Lisamarie and Christelle-Hey there! Oooh! I am going to have to check out that Josie Maran! Thanks!!!

@beautyinfozone-Hey Marcia! Yes, exfoliating is key! :)

@Prime Beauty-I am glad that you mentioned those as I have been wanting to try both! :)

@ModestyBrown-I am so glad that my tip helped! Yes, spray is a must for hands (just be sure to hold the can pretty far away from your hands...mist lightly!).

xoxo to everyone!

Me said...

Excellent tips. I love the idea of using a spray for hands (and mid back). I admire your dedication to achieving a glowing look, and I wish I had the patience for it. My skin is so fair, I haven't had much luck with the self tan routine. I once used Clarins on my face (I'd let my body get a little sun, for the vitamin D, but never my face, so that evened things out.)

Unknown said...

@Zuzu's Petals-Thanks! Yes, I have tried Clarins too and really love that one! :)

Unknown said...

Any tips for face/ neck / feet?

Unknown said...

@Michelle-Tips for face: apply more often with a formula specifically for your face. I find that with all of the exfoliation that my face gets, self-tanning lotions don't last long on the face. For neck, I add a bit of lotion first and apply tanner over the lotion so that the skin does not absorb too much. I usually use the same tanner that I would use on my face. For feet: apply lotion around the ankle area. Then take remaining lotion that is still on hands or mitt from doing legs and smooth over the foot area. Hope this helps!

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