How To: Fake Tan at Home
The end of August is upon us, and soon too will be the long hot days of summer, and its tan-tastic glow. Thankfully, modern beauty products are better than ever in helping us fake our bake. So whether you'd just like to extend your color now that you're back in school instead of by the pool, or whether you practice sun safety and would like to get some color without the harm (good for you!), here is our how-to guide for tanning at home.
Be sure to use products that work for your skin. For instance, if you have a choice, choose products designed for fair skin if you have a light complexion and pale skin. If you have darker or olive skin, you are safe to use nearly any product, but products designed for darker skin tones will have more effect.
We recommend following this process at night, and sleeping in the lotion, then showering lightly the next day. This also ensures that daily hazards don't mess up your color, like washing your hands or spilling liquid on your lotion that may alter the effects. Just be sure to wear pajamas to bed, to keep any lotion from soaking into the sheets!
Step One: Preparation
Before fake tanning, be sure your skin is clean and ready for application. This is done by exfoliating thoroughly in the shower, and shaving any areas you normally shave (this will save you from shaving tomorrow when the tan has developed, and keeps the color longer). Scrub gloves work well for this, and can be found at your local drug store.
After showering, do not moisturize your skin. The lotion will moisturize enough so you don't want to dilute the color or create an uneven effect.
Step Two: Apply
We recommend using two products:
First, an all-over fake tan lotion. Apply this to all areas you'd like to see covered, making sure to use equal amounts on corresponding body parts (for instance, use the same amount on one calf as you do on the other). Starting at the feet and working upwards works best. Be sure to rub in the lotion thoroughly, rubbing both up and down and in circular motions. Don't forget the tops of your feet and backs of your hands too! Allow this to dry for 1-3 minutes. It doesn't need to be completely dry, but should mostly set into skin before moving on to next step.
Second, use a gradual tanning lotion (the kind designed for every day use) or tanning foam (highly recommended) and rub a layer over all the areas you applied the tanning lotion. This will ensure the color is even and flawless, and will give you a tiny bit more color. Be sure to get the tops of your feet and backs of your hands too!
Let the tanner and lotion dry before getting dressed! If you are sleeping in your tan, throw on dark colored sweats or pajamas and you're ready for bed! If you are tanning during the day, wear dark colored clothes and be sure to take care not to get any part of your body other than your hands wet; spilling a drink on yourself or accidentally splashing your forearm could leave an impression in the tan.
Step Three: Maintain
Again, we recommend following this guide before bed, then sleeping in your 'tan' to let it develop. In the morning, just take a light shower to rinse of any excess and rid yourself of any tanner smell that might be present. No need to soap your entire body; just lightly rinse, and coat yourself with your favorite moisturizer. We recommend using lotions that don't contain oils that may dilute the tan and make it fade faster!
If you have tanned during the day, don't shower or get wet for atleast 10 hours; most lotions and directions say 6 hours, but some tan may still rinse off during that time. If possible, wait till the next day to shower as usual. Apply lotion to keep up the tan!
Tricks of the Trade
Our friends at the local tanning salon gave us a few expert tips on how to keep your faux glow faux-pas free:
-Working out my alter the tan in certain areas. For instance, tennis shoes will wear off tan on your feat, and sports bras can rub the skin clean of tan around your neck and armpits. Keep a can of spray tan (found at your local drug store) handy, and spray these areas down after a shower. The spray formula ensures an even application, and it's quick and easy so you can just spray on a bit to the tops of your feet to help them match your legs!
-When applying tanner to feet, be sure to get between the toes in a light layer. Tan that reaches up to the toes and stops easily shows that your tan isn't real.
-Don't go overboard. Too much tan looks orange, and you don't want to earn yourself the nickname “Snooki 2”. Instead, keep it light. This will ensure your need minimal maintenance too, since areas that rub off sooner won't show as obviously.