Since the 1980's, when scientists discovered a nasty hole in the ozone layer, people have been protecting their skin from the harmful ultra-violet rays of the sun. Previous to that, it was a common passtime to lay in the sunshine and soak up a glowing and radiant tan. |
Unfortunately, that kind of action these days will not only cause premature wrinkles and age spots, but it also causes skin damage and can lead to skin cancer. However, that doesn't mean you must stay pale and pastey.
If you've never used self tanning lotions before, you may be a little apprehensive to try them. However, these products are widely available and the modern version is highly unlikely to leave your skin looking orange and streaky if applied properly.
There are a couple of different kinds of self tanners and bronzers you can try, depending on your preference. Many daily moisturizing lotions now contain a small amount of skin darkening agents, which can safely be applied daily to gradually darken your skin to a tanned look. This might be preferable to those who don't want an obvious change in their appearance.
Many of the tanning moisturizers also come with an SPF level (sun-protection factor), to keep you protected if you venture outdoors.
Your other choice is a self tanning lotion. If you've never used one before, make sure you read the instructions carefully and follow them to the letter. This includes performing a patch test on a small area of your skin to make sure you are not sensitive to the ingredients.
Using self tanning lotion is simple, but it does take a little planning. You should expect to allow at least an hour or two for application and proper drying. You should also be prepared to prep your skin before you apply the lotion.
Cleaning and exfoliating your skin before self tanning is critical to remove any dead skin cells and keep your tan from looking uneven and streaky. Apply the lotion a little at a time to cover a small area to make sure you don't miss any skin. Wash your hands frequently during the process, or you might end up with some very dark fingers.
Many beginners to self tanning lotions have trouble with the knees and elbows. These areas require less lotion, since the skin in naturally layered in these areas and will appear darker than the rest of your body if you are not careful.
Tanning lotions are a great way to achieve the sun kissed look, and a single application will last several days. Make sure you give the skin plenty of time to dry after the application, and, as always, remember to use sunscreen when you show off your tan in the real sun.
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