Although ‘Peeled’ tends to drift down food blog avenue- let us not forget my goal is total body wellness. An emerging issue with wellness right now is sun over-exposure! Have you seen this video- ESPECIALLY IF YOU KNOW A TEENAGER – it’s worth a 5 minute view.
Skin cancer is the #1 type of cancer in the US. Yet, a warm glow is still one of the most desirable qualities in pop culture. Being incredibly fair skinned myself, this has led me down a torturous path of self tanning products.
It wasn’t a pretty journey. Pictures will not be shown.
The good news is that I have emerged on the other side, with a glowy tan in 10 minutes that doesn’t make me smell like Cheerios (does anyone else think most self tanners smell like Cheerios?).
I present to you the champion & my Friday Favorite; Banana Boat Summer Color Self Tanning Lotion ($7). I picked this up at Walmart because of its low price tag, and fell in love. It takes me 3 applications to reach my perfect tan, and I apply twice a week to maintain my tan. I apply at night so that it can develop (aka get darker) while I sleep without rubbing off on my ‘good clothes’. I love this tanner because it has a little guide color so you can see where you’re applying it, and it doesn’t have the typical ‘self tanner’ smell. The slight odor it does have is totally gone after my morning shower.
My self-tanning routine:
After work, when I’m home for the night, I shower so that I can start with squeaky clean skin. I exfoliate my whole body so that my tan applies evenly.
I dry off completely and apply body lotion to my elbows, knees, and hands/wrists. I apply whatever lotion is leftover on my hands to my face and neck. These are areas that tend to be dry, and I don’t want excessive self tanner to be absorbed. I give myself/the bathroom a few minutes to cool down from my shower.
I pull my lion’s-mane-of-hair into a tight ponytail to get it out of the way. I then lock myself in a well ventilated bathroom and get to it. (I usually bring my tablet or music in with me to entertain myself while drying; these are the tips people forget to tell you)
I generously apply self tanner from bottom to top- working my way from my legs, to middle, to chest & arms. If you don’t use enough tanner you’ll end up streaky, but you also don’t want to be so thickly coated that you waste product. Applying from bottom to top avoids creasing or smearing.
If you’re feeling adventurous, attempt your back. This usually involves a mixture of yoga and the aerosol spray you’ll see below.
I then mix self tanner with a little face lotion and apply it to my face. Make sure to focus on the places sun would naturally hit. Be careful around your mouth/under your nose as these are places you don’t want to get too dark. Don’t forget to hit your ears, behind your ears, the back of your neck and under your chin. You can always use powdered bronzer to make your face more glowy, but you can’t ditch the oompa loompa look. Less is more here.
Now its time to wash your hands SUPER thoroughly. Be sure to get in between your fingers! I make sure to wash the underside of my wrists too.
The last step in my routine is to take the aerosol version of my self tanner (also available at Walmart or Ulta) and hit the tops of my feet and hands. These are the places that make or break a self tan. Rubbing these with lotions tends to look very fake, but you don’t want a tan body and white hands/feet! This step is one the secrets to success.
Hang out for at least 10 minutes before putting on any clothing. You don’t want your clothes to absorb any tanner- it will make your tan streaky and leave a mark on your clothes.
Put on loose fitting dark color pajamas and call it a night! When I wake up in the morning I ‘body shower’ off the tanner and carry on with my day with a sun kissed glow.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Be careful not to spray/bump shower curtains or anything stainable while drying- no bueno.
- Don’t exfoliate your skin heavily while rocking your self tan. The color has stained the top layer of your skin cells, it’d be a shame to rub them off.
- DO NOT, I repeat, do not wash dishes or in any other way get your skin wet until your tan has fully developed (hours). This is why pre-bedtime is a great option for application
- Be careful on the underside of your forearms. This is an area that doesn’t tan much naturally, so you don’t want to build a tan too intensely there.
- After your very first application to pale skin this may seem a little streaky. Don’t panic- that goes away once you apply again!
I promise this is not as challenging as I just made it sound.
Once you do this a few times it becomes as easy as a typical shower routine. I think it’s totally worth the time because self tanning allows me to feel sun kissed all summer long without worrying about skin cancer or premature aging.
Have you had any terrifying or glorious self-tanning encounters? I’d love to hear.