There is something to be said for a golden, California-style tan, but spending hours tanning under the blazing solar disk is more of a skin-cancer risk than it is a fine tanning option. You could go all out and spent a hundred dollars getting a spray-on tan from a salon, but you risk losing control over the shade. For a few measly bucks, hide those pasty legs to the computer and buy some Neutrogena’s Instant Bronze sunless tanning and bronzer in one at the local drugstore. It’s a soft foam that provides instant color, then develops a tan as well.
Sunless Tanning Lotions: How they Work?
Tanning lotions and creams are basically a way of dying your skin a lovely, summertime hue without exposing yourself to harmful radiation. Tanning in its most primitive form is the same thing: UV rays interact with the melanin in your skin, turning it brown and dying you from the inside out. With a store-bought tan and bronzer, you can start out golden, and any incidental color you happen to pick up in the course of your summer is just gravy.
How to Apply a Believable Sunless Tan
Before you start, decide how deep a tan you want, and plan how much of your body you want tanned. Trouble spots include the neck, and the clavicle area. A deeply-tanned chest above the breasts can look old and wrinkly, so be careful. Decide how you want your feet to look: you don’t want a tan that ends in a pair of white ankles! The same with your hands; your tan shouldn’t end at your wrists. In general, tanning your face should be avoided because of tricky things like the thin skin under the eyes. If you feel you must have a tan on your face, consider a bronze makeup or powder, or have it professionally tanned at a good salon.
Start with freshly shaven legs so the lotion will go on smoothly, and apply it as evenly as you can. If you can, use a full-length mirror or get a friend to help you apply the lotion to the backs of your legs, you shoulders, waist and back.
Tanning lotion is like salt in a stew: you can always add more, but it’s hard to take any out. If you’re looking for a pretty rich color, plan to do your tanning in more than one application, so you can brown up in increments, preventing overdoing it.
I recommend Neutrogena because although it costs a little more, you won’t end up the bright-orange color of cheap tanning lotions. Getting your tan from a company that specializes in skin care with an eye to sensitivity it also a good idea to my way of thinking.