Ladies, I should probably start by letting you know that I am bred of the milkiest white, Scottish skin. I go from white to red in 0.2 seconds and, as a result, do my best to stay out of the sun.
Besides being graced with the occasional sun freckle, I don’t tan. I suppose it’s not the worst thing because we all know that too much UV exposure can give lead to wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and even cancer. But that’s not to say I don’t sometimes pine for skin-kissed skin.
Wanting to looks skin-kissed (without risking a sun-slap!), try this foolproof way to self-tan without a Jersey Shore-esque orange hue.
Step 1: Dry Brush
Nothing preps your skin better than a good full body exfoliation. Incorporating exfoliation into your weekly beauty routine helps clear away dead skin buildup and encourages cellular turnover for younger, healthier looking skin. If neglected, these dead skin cells can prevent moisture from getting into your dermis and dehydrate your skin making it appear dull and lifeless. Plus, nothing leads to streaky self tan faster than dry skin, making this step #1 on our path to a flawless faux-glow.
To keep oils from affecting your self tanner application, try a dry brush exfoliation. Start at your feet and move up towards your abdomen. Move onto your buttocks and abdomen and finish by brushing your arms from hands to heart. This method is the best way to increase blood flow and rid your body of toxins. For further exfoliation, follow up your dry brushing with a nice body scrub. Just make sure it has no oil in it.
Step 2: DIY Your Self Tanner
I’ve tried my fair share of store-bought tanners, but most of them made me look like an Oompa Loompa. Not the sexiest of looks. I was introduced to this fabulous home recipe and thought I’d share it with you. All you need is:
– 4 black tea bags
– 3/4 cup water for steeping your tea
– 1/2 cup coconut oil
– 1/2 cup cocoa butter
– 1/3 cup raw cocoa powder
Steep your tea in boiled water for at least 20 minutes. The longer you steep it, the darker it will be. Warm up your cocoa butter and pour in blender. Add in your cocoa powder and blend. Once it’s smooth, add in your coconut oil and half of your steeped tea. Blend for 1 minute, then add the remaining tea.
Once everything is mixed together sufficiently, spot test your tanning lotion on your skin. If you are happy with the results, use circular motions to massage the lotion all over your body. Be careful not to rub too much on your elbows and knees as they spots typically darken easier.
You should start to see results in as little as 1-3 hours. More applications will darken the effect, just try not to over do it!
Step #3: SPF
Just because you look tanned, doesn’t mean your skin is protected from unexpected UV rays. Always be sure to slather on a lotion or sunscreen with a broad spectrum SPF.
Part of being sun smart also means limiting direct exposure. Pack a thin, breathable long sleeve if you plan on being out in the sun. A beach umbrella and wide-brimmed hat are also appropriate for days of lazing on the beach.
Enjoy a healthy glow all summer long without risking sun damage. There’s no shame in caring for your skin and going the sunless tanning route. You may be jealous of your best friends glowing tan now, but they’ll be downright envious of your youthful skin as you get older. Just remember, what you do to your skin today, you live with tomorrow!