The Perfect Sunless Tan

Spring is quickly approaching: soon Uggs and sweaters will make way for flip flops and sundresses. Though the temptation may be powerful to jump in a tanning bed for some color before baring your limbs, be strong! As skin enthusiasts, we can’t overstate the harmful effects of tanning beds enough, in addition to the long-term benefits of shielding your skin from the damage sun exposure causes. Here are some healthy tips to create that beautiful tan you’re longing for with the help of a few key products:

Sunless tanner. Sunless tanners and bronzers have come a long way from the days of orange, streaky nightmares. Today, proper exfoliation and quality products will give you a glow that’s unidentifiable from the real thing. Use your Clarisonic with your favorite body exfoliant in the shower (we love Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Soy Milk and Hony Body Polish which exfoliates while moisturizing), dry off then apply an even coat of moisturizer over your whole body. Let it soak in for a few minutes (too much wetness could potentially create streaks in your tan).

Make sure you find the right self-tanner for you by doing your research (we like St. Tropez and Clarins’ self-tanners) and going through a “test run” – choose an unnoticeable location to dab a bit of the tanner to see how it reacts with your skin before covering your body with it. Once you’ve found the right tanner, apply it carefully, wearing latex gloves to avoid dyed palms. You might prefer using tinted foam or lotion rather than a neutral tone, since you will easily be able to see your application. Spread the self-tanner evenly in straight motions (circular motions can cause streaking) and be particularly careful of areas with dryer skin or crevices, like elbows and feet. Keep in mind that you should do a lighter coat when first trying a self-tanner – if it’s too light, you can always add more later.

Make sure you don’t have plans or visitors right after applying your self-tanner, because you’re going to need to hang out au naturale for about half an hour (follow your sunless tanner’s instructions) to ensure you get a smooth, even application. And if you do happen to get a few spots which look a bit streaky or orange, no fear! Add a bit of lemon juice to your Clarisonic brush head and cleanse the area to help even it out.

What are your favorite sunless tanners and bronzers?