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The Perfect Sunless Tan!

Whether you are preparing for a Bodybuilding competition or you just want to darken your natural skin color without all of the possible negative effects of sun tanning, your answer is sunless tanning.

"When it's time for competition you want every muscular detail to be clearly visible to the judges." Whether you are preparing for a Bodybuilding competition or you just want to darken your natural skin color without all of the possible negative effects of sun tanning, your answer is sunless tanning. Sunless tanning can be extremely tricky business unless you know what you're doing and have some experience. The latest formulations apply more smoothly and evenly than those in previous years. "They contain a new active ingredient, DHA, a sugar that reacts with the superficial proteins in the top layers of the skin to temporarily darken the pigment."

Here are five simple steps to applying the perfect sunless tan!

1. Hair Removal: If you want the best application of the tan and want the tan to apply correctly and evenly you need to remove the hair from the area you are tanning. You can remove the hair by shaving, waxing, or using a lotion or spray hair remover. Jan Tana makes some great hair removers but chances are you will need to do some shaving in the end anyway. Waxing lasts the longest of these options but can be anywhere from $50-$125 (in most cases) to have done. Hair will usually not grow back for 3-5 weeks. Depending on who you are, the hair remover lasts for a couple of days and shaving must be maintained at least every few days or every day at the most.

2. Exfoliate Your Skin: There is no doubt about it. In order to obtain the best looking tan you need to exfoliate your skin. This step is often overlooked and usually leads to dark and light spots if not completed. In the shower exfoliate your legs, and then scrub the rest of your body with an exfoliator in order to ensure a smooth looking tan. Make sure that when you are done you dry yourself off completely and let your body temperature return to normal. Since the tan will not adhere to moisture it is important that you are dry. Also, apply some moisturizing lotion to your joints since they tend to be extra dry. Your knees, elbows, ankles, and knuckles should all be moisturized so that the lotion won't penetrate these areas as much.

3. Apply Sunless Tanner: This is, without a doubt, the most difficult part of the sunless tanning process. It is a very wise choice to put on tight fitting surgical or rubber gloves so that you don't stain your hands with the lotion. Put a quarter size amount of self-tanner into your hand and then rub your hands together and massage it into your skin. You will be surprised at how far that little amount will go. You will want to start at the tops of your feet and work your way up your legs, to your abdomen, chest, arms, and neck being sure not to miss any spots. It is a good idea if you can, to use a darker colored cream so that you can see where you have applied already. Work in upward and downward strokes and save the knees, elbows, and other joints for later.

4. The Joints: Since joints are more sensitive to self-tanner, they require less lotion than the rest of the body. Before applying the tanner, exfoliate the joints using a loofah or granular scrub. Dilute the tanner with some moisturizing lotion to make the application to joints smoother and lighter. Also, another good idea is, after massaging the tanner into the larger areas, use the small amount left in your palms to do the joints. Also, make sure your joints are bent when you apply it to avoid white creases. After you have applied the tanner to the joints dab them with a tissue to remove any excess lotion. In order to apply the lotion to the backs of your hands remove one glove and put the cream on with your other hand. Again, dab the knuckles with a tissue or towel, then put the glove back on, and do the other hand.

5. Drying: The drying process usually takes about 15-20 minutes. Remove and dispose of the gloves and put on some old loose fitting cotton clothing. If it is possible, you may want to apply the tanner an hour before bedtime and sleep through the tanning process. In the shower try not to rub your skin very hard or dry off excessively. To help prolong the tan, moisturize your skin with a moisturizing lotion at least twice daily.

Applying to the face:

1. Clean Skin: This is definitely a part of the self-tanning process that you want to have down to a science. Messing up on this will make you look like grandma after trying to apply her make-up on a train ride through a dark tunnel while the train is in the process of derailing. Make sure that your skin is clean and dry. If you are female make sure you have thoroughly removed all makeup or it will adhere to the self-tanner.

2. Restrain Hair: It is imperative that you either put on a shower cap or slick your hair back in order to keep it off your face, neck and ears. You can shield your eyebrows by coating them with Vaseline or petroleum jelly. Also, apply a small amount of moisturizer along the hairline to help prevent discoloration of the hair. It is also an extremely good idea to remove all your jewelry.

3. Apply Tanner: A dime-sized amount will suffice for the face. Apply it to your skin in small circular motions. You want to pay special attention around the eyelids, lips, and chin. These areas of the face absorb more of the tanner and will come out a little darker. Also, apply lightly around the eyes because the skin is thin and it can absorb right through and get some in your eye, which may cause irritation.

4. Tying up loose ends: With the excess tanner, while it is still moist, spread it up to the hairline and underneath your jaw. Massage any of the remaining cream behind your ears and above you neck. Clean up and you are in business. In hours you will have the perfect sunless tan!!!

Here are a few tips to help improve results:

1. Exfoliate. Use a body scrub regularly to keep skin smooth and remove dead cells from the surface of the skin. Dead skin will absorb more tanner than healthy skin, and will result in a blotchy tan.

2. You can help to tone down streaks with a cotton ball dipped in astringent or nail polish remover. If you missed a spot, apply the tanner to the missed area with a thin layer of the tanner surrounding it to help it blend in better.

3. Use tinted formulations. Tanners with a dark tint will help you see where you have already applied.

4. After application use a damp washcloth to lightly wipe off elbows and knees. Because the knees and elbows tend to be drier than the rest of the body they will absorb more self-tanner than the surrounding areas. This results in darker-looking knees and elbows. Gently wiping the area will help prevent this.

5. Do not go too dark unless you are preparing for a competition. One shade darker than your natural skin tone will provide more natural results. Also, a base tan is recommended but not necessary.

6. Rinse or shower a couple of hours after applying the tanner. This is especially important if you use tinted formulations. Showering will help remove any excess tanner. Not doing so may result in discolored garments. For those of you who have not yet found a good self-tanner, Jan Tana is a great choice but there are many others so try a couple and see what you like best.

  • 1. Shave and exfoliate. Dry off and put moisturizer on joints.
  • 2. Put on gloves and apply tanner from the feet up working in long upward motions.
  • 3. Let dry for 15-20 minutes.
  • 4. Moisturize twice a day to maintain.