Whether you want your skin to look barely sun-kissed or like you just came back from a Carribean vacation, getting a gorgeous, healthy tan can be easy, safe, and affordable.
The First Step
The first step toward beautiful skin is to protect it from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Health Canada recommends avoiding direct sunlight between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and using a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. In order to get the full protective benefit from a sunscreen, be sure to use enough to provide full protection.
- An average adult needs about 60 to 75ml (2-2.5oz.) to cover the whole body.
- Apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before going outdoors.
- Pay careful attention to ears, lips, nose, neck and hair line, areas many people tend to overlook.
- Reapply 20 minutes after going outside to provide maximum protection.
There are several different types of sunscreens to choose from—chemical sunscreens, which absorb UV radiation, or physical sunscreens, which block the UV rays. If you’re concerned about using chemicals on your skin, a natural organic sunscreen might be the best choice for you. Whichever option you choose, slather it on in generous amounts and reapply it every two to three hours and immediately after heavy sweating or swimming.
You can use a self-tanning lotion, gel, mousse, or mist; to get the sunless tan you’re looking for. For the most natural-looking results, follow these guidelines:
- Wax or shave the day before using the self-tanner
- Use a loofah or exfoliating shower gel before applying the self-tanner, this will remove the surface layer of dead skin cells and result in a tan that will look more even and last longer.
- Moisturize after you exfoliate.
- Wear latex gloves when applying self-tanner or wash your hands directly after applying the product. This will prevent palms and fingernails from becoming bronzed. If you do get any orange streaks on your hands, use Hydrogen Peroxide on a cotton ball to remove.
- Cover your hairline with a hair band before applying the self-tanner to your face.
- For the body, take a small amount of self-tanner and apply it to the largest area first. If you are applying it to your calf area start on the thickest part of the muscle and feather the product down to the ankle and up to the knee. Ankles, knees and elbows need less self-tanner as they absorb it more easily. For the face start on the cheek areas and feather out to the sides, down neck and up over forehead. Avoid eyebrows. For an authentic looking tan, be sure to avoid applying self-tanner to areas that wouldn’t normally tan in the sun.
- Wait as long as you can before dressing or getting into bed.
- Avoid swimming, showering, and activities that promote sweating for at least six hours after applying self-tanner.
- Continue to use sunscreen. Your newly bronzed skin will not protect you from sun damage.
Cosmetic bronzers wash off like regular makeup and come in several forms to add a glow to the face, legs, and body.
- Powders: To keep powder looking natural; apply it with a big fluffy brush. When applying, keep in mind how the sun naturally hits your cheekbones, nose, and forehead and lightly apply to these areas only
- Creams: Cream bronzers are an excellent option for dry skin. Unlike powder, creams soak in and won’t flake off. Be sure to blend them well into skin, layering complementary colours on top for a natural look
- Sprays: A quick spray on your face, neck, or upper chest can provide a splash of warmth. Use bronzing sprays after your makeup is on to add a subtle hint of colour.
- Sticks: Using a concealer with your leg bronzer can help hide scars, veins, and other leg imperfections. Set it in place with powder to keep the colour from rubbing off.