When I was in high school, I remember lying outside in our backyard. My weapon of choice: TigerBeat magazine (I [heart] Sean Cassidy), sunglasses, swimsuit and any product that gave my skin a glare. If I ran out of bain de Soleil tanning oil (no SPF, mind you), I used baby oil. Out of baby oil? I used Crisco. I’m not joking you. I was like a browning turkey.
Then came tanning beds. Oh hooray! I didn’t have to lie outside anymore. Now I could fake bake my way into healthy glow. And in 20 minutes, instead of all day. Oops. Wrong.
Ain’t nothing healthy about a tan, ladies. In fact, a tan is your body’s way of letting you know you’re killing it. Clearly, the ‘80s and even part of the ‘90s didn’t get the memo about skin cancer. To make the insta-tan even less appealing, according to the Journal of American Dermatology, using a tanning bed before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 75 percent.
It’s a good thing people are trying to change the tanning industry, especially for teens. Even Obama’s new health care bill is attempting a fight against unhealthy tanning, tacking on a 10 percent tax for individuals receiving indoor tanning services.
As we enter the sunny seasons, you don’t have to keep the pasty pale from winter. Here are a few tips on using self-tanners:
- Don’t go too dark. Just don’t.
- Exfoliate beforehand.
- For a lighter glow, mix 1/2 lotion (make sure it’s oil-free) and 1/2 self-tanner.
- After you apply the cream, use a tube sock put over your hand sock-puppet style and rub in circular motions to ensure no areas with too much tanner.
- Mess up? Panic not. Lemon juice mixed with sugar, rubbed in small circles at the offending streaky spot…There. All better.
- Wash your hands immediately. Orange palms are just odd.
A few I like: Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer(great for subtle, day-by-day color), Cellex-C Bio-Tan Sunless Tanning Gel (so pricey, but so worth it…this is actually my favorite because of its super easy application), Solerra Sunless Tanning Mitt (these are a little tough to use, since they have bronzing too, but the clever mitt means no orange palms).
If you have a little extra time, let a professional lead you into the dark side (wait, that sounds ominous/disturbing/illegal). Check with your favorite spa or salon to see if they offer self-tanner applications.
I’m sticking to my guns about self-tanners. They are a serious part of my beauty regimen. After all, I don’t want to be all wrinkly, leather-faced and hyperpigmented. Then Sean will never notice me.
Tell me some of the dumb beauty tricks you did when you were young. I bet you can’t top Crisco. Leave a comment and try.