Now, more than ever, we need to protect our skin. We are fortunate to live in a time of skincare knowledge, and great products that can protect us from the sun. Lately, I have been hearing story after story about the high number of people diagnosed with skin cancer. Our parent’s generation came from a time of tanning until they blistered! My mom even said they used to cover their bodies in butter. When I was in middle school and high school it was the time of the tanning bed. Thank god those times are over! The only problem… we all look better with a tan!
The idea of spray tan can make you think of orange streaks and bad smells, but if you haven’t tried it in awhile you may want to think twice about it. I love spray tan! Especially when I am going to film, I think it’s makes my skin look much nicer and healthier. Yes, I have gone through the streaky/orangy look before, and I have tried a number of different products. Today I am sharing with you the best way to go about doing a spray tan at home. I wish I could go get a professional spray tan every week, but it’s really expensive…and I don’t have the time!
There are a few simple steps that will make your tan look nicer and last longer.
Spray Tan at Home
1. Exfoliate! If you aren’t doing this a few times a week…you should, even if you aren’t going to spray tan. It removes the dead skin cells which allows the skin to breathe. It will help your skin to absorb lotion and products much better which result in healthier skin. It’s necessary when you are doing a spray tan for the product to go on smooth and to evenly absorb into the skin.
You can use a body scrub or exfoliating gloves.
2. Shave! After you exfoliate you should shave your legs. This is important because it makes for an even surface for the tanning product, AND makes it so the product isn’t just sitting in the follicle which can make it look spotty.
3. Spray! After you get out of the shower, dry off completely! If you are worried about your nails turning color from the spray, you can either wear gloves or put a little bit of lotion on your nails, which will help repel the spray. Once you are completely dry, get back in the shower, with the water off obviously, to spray (this makes the easier clean-up). Hold the spray about 8 inches (or whatever the directions say) from your skin and evenly spray your body. Make sure to have the spray in constant motion so that you don’t get any spots. If you need help from a significant other I’m sure they won’t mind! Believe me…I have made my husband help a few times! Once you are fully sprayed you need to let it dry. This is the part where you feel funny because you are standing there naked and somewhat helpless. You can use a hairdryer on low heat or the cool setting to dry off your body. I know it sounds funny and you feel like a crazy person, BUT this is what they do in professional spray tan salons. Trust me! Once you are dry, wear dark clothing for the next 6-8 hours depending on the product directions. I like to do this at night so that I just sleep with the product on and wash it off in the morning.
These are two of my latest favorite sprays!
Neutrogena Micro-Mist Sunless Tanning Spray; this one is more mild but has a great natural look
Sephora Spray Tan; this one has stronger pigment without looking orange
4. Maintenance! Once you rinse your spray tan you still want to make sure it lasts. Spray tans can be good for about a week, then I would start over again. Using a lotion with a bit of self tanner in it can be helpful with this. Make sure it doesn’t smell though, since a lot of tanning lotions do not have a pleasant scent.
Another way to maintain the spray tan is to use make-up! Use a bronzer like this Mineral Brush-On Bronzer to keep everything looking even and fresh.
5. Know when it’s over! Spray tans can last about a week and then it’s time to exfoliate and start over! Don’t just spray over your spray tan once it has started to fade away. This dry/patchy look is totally normal because the skin cells that the spray is on are going to come off your skin. Once you see this happening simply exfoliate your skin really well, give your skin a couple days off by loading on the lotion, and do another spray tan when needed.