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Self Tanning Lotion Tips

Get a Streak-Free Tan from a Self Tanning Lotion

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We all know how bad the sun is for our skin, so many of us opt for sunless tans using self tanning lotion or sprays. And if you think using a tanning bed is any better, please know that it's not. It can up your cancer risk by 75%. I know that when the warm weather finally comes, I’ll see a slew of women at the park with orange streaks all over their legs. And ladies, I love you and your streaky legs because sometimes I have streaky legs, too! But there are things you can do to make it less likely that your self-tanner will streak.

Applying self tanning lotions take practice, but if you follow these suggestions and add a little patience, applying the self tanning lotion will be easier and your sunless tan will be streak-free.

1. Exfoliate for a few days before application.

Woman Scrubbing in Shower
Steve Mason/Stockbyte/Getty Images

This is really the most important thing you can do. (How to Exfoliate) Your skin needs to be shed of its dead scaly layer of skin so the tanner isn’t trying to work its way through it. In the shower, rub a body scrub all over your body making sure you spend time on the areas that tend to be dry and scaly such as the knees and elbows.

2. Moisturize every day the week before you tan.

If not a week, at least a few days. You should apply body lotion liberally immediately after your shower or bath. In order to get an even application, your body needs to all start at the same place. Many times certain areas of your body, knees and ankles for example, are much drier than other areas. These areas soak up the self tanner which leads to blotchy coloring. Keeping your skin plumped up with moisture will help. ((What Kind of Moisturizer is Best?)

3. Do not apply the self tanner in your steamy bathroom.

The heat and moisture in the bathroom can cause you to start to sweat and the self tanner can melt and drip which will cause streaks. Also, wait until your body has cooled down after your shower. Hot skin will have the same affect. (Mystic Tan Reviews)

4. Take your time with application.

Self tanning lotions take longer to dry than foam; if you need some extra time go with a lotion. If you have someone who can help, all the better. Start with one area of your body and work your way around. Pay attention to the part you’re working on and don’t rush. By moving slow and paying attention only to the area you’re working on, you’ll get much better results.

5. Dilute by half on the areas prone to dark spots.

Your knees, ankles and elbows are usually first to show if you don’t apply correctly. Mix half self tanner and half moisturizer for a more natural look.

6. Wash your hands multiple times during application

Latex gloves are another option. Use a damp triangle makeup sponge to apply to the backs of your hands. This will keep the self tanner off your palms and right where you want it to go. I also recommended a sponge for the top of your feet as well.

7. Wait 15 minutes to get dressed.

You may feel odd while waiting for your self tanner to dry, but if you don’t wait you may stain your clothes or your sheets. Grab a magazine or give a friend a phone call to pass the time.

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