Being raised in Alaska has trained me to hate cold weather. It’s no exaggeration when I say being cold literally pisses me off. Florida has always felt like home to me and not just because my family is here, but because I love hot weather and big sunglasses. I love the tropical vibes of laying on the sand and soaking up the sun. I love the look of my glossy, copper-toned tan skin against my dark hair and green eyes.
It was this desire that initially drove me to step foot in a tanning salon and it only took one visit to get me hooked. The smell of coconuts and sunshine bursting from that overpriced pink bottle of lotion gave me such comfort. I found peace in my alien-like goggles and confined tube of light that poses as any claustrophobia’s worst nightmare.
For the next several years I would bounce back and forth between tanning memberships. Often times I would cancel when the possibility of cancer was enough to scare me away, only to return months later after being fed up with my pale, lifeless skin. I don’t know if it was my naïve mindset or my complete disregard for safety, but I was determined to deepen my complexion and satisfy my hunger for warmth at any cost.
Finally, after much thought and research, my dermatologist was able to persuade me to give tanning up for good. If you still use tanning beds, I know you are so tired of hearing about how you should quit. I used to spend my time trying to justify my habit and argue the research, but at the end of the day science is science. There just isn’t a way to argue the safety of tanning because it isn’t safe.
Once I kicked the habit of baking my skin, I needed a healthier alternative to tanning beds. I needed to achieve the color I craved, but tan without damaging skin. Spray tanning was a total disaster and always left me looking orange-ish with terribly stained hands. I decided to stick with at-home self-tanners and just needed to find the right one.
I’ve been using Loving Tan for about a year now and have been very pleased with the results. If you’ve been searching for the perfect self-tanner, I highly recommend giving Loving Tan a try. It is pricey for the bottle size, but self-tanner is not a product you want to cheap out on. Unless, of course, your dream has been to star in the next Willy Wonka movie.
It’s very important to not only find the perfect tanning product, but to also prepare your body and use it properly to optimize your results. Here are some tips on how you can achieve the bronzed glow of your dreams!
♥ 1: Choose Your Color
I use the 2-hr express mousse in Dark which is concentrated and gives such a beautiful color.I prefer the Ultra Dark color, but since it is not available in the 2 Hr formula, I usually go with the Dark. Loving Tan claims to give a natural olive color and I absolutely agree. The undertone of this formula is perfect and does not reflect orange at all.
The 2 Hr Mousse comes in Medium and Dark
The Deluxe Bronzing Mousse is available in Medium, Dark, and Ultra Dark
Here are my recommendations on color based on skin tone and experience:
Medium: For very fair skin tones or those who have no yet tried a self tanning product
Dark: Fair-Light skin tones. Great for anyone who wants a perfect copper color
Ultra Dark: Light-Medium skin tones. I recommend this color for experienced tanners only as this is a very rich formula. It offers a deep, rich, bronzed tan. Perfect summertime color.
♥2: Cleanse and Exfoliate
Prepping your skin is essential to extending the life and improving the overall appearance of your tan. The first thing you want to do is shower and exfoliate really well. I like to use a skin scrub or a bath loofa to help remove dead skin cells and smooth out the surface of my skin.
If you need to shave, go ahead and do it at this time as well. You want to try to avoid heavy shaving while your tan is on which can shorten the life of the color. These steps will help the tan apply more evenly and better prepare you for the next step which is…
Moisturizing before you apply your tan is extremely important to avoid the tanning formula from clinging to dry patches and over-absorbing on certain areas. I like to tan in the mornings so I will usually do steps 2 and 3 the night before I tan. This gives the moisturizer about 12 hours to really set into my skin. If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to wait that long between steps, just make sure you wait long enough for the moisturizer to set and not leave a film on your skin. This will cause the tanning product to slide around and apply uneven.
I use a heavy moisturizer like Josie Maran’s Body Butter focus on my feet, hands, elbows, and knees which tend to be the driest places and cause the most trouble when tanning. If you leave these areas dry, you risk the tan sticking too heavily and not spreading even. This can create a very unnatural appearance.
♥4: Apply Your Tan
Now that you are clean, exfoliated, and moisturized really well, it is time to apply your tan. There are 2 items that I recommend having handy before you tan and that is a towel and a tanning mitt. I know the towel might sound like an odd thing to recommend, but I drape a clean towel over my toilet or tub to protect the surface from any tanning product that may drip. This formula is very concentrated and pigmented and will stain surfaces if you aren’t careful. I am not a graceful person so I prepare.
A tanning mitt is the best way to apply your tan. Use wide circular motions when applying the product and make sure to pay attention to the color guard to see where you’ve already placed product and where you need to place it.
I start at my feet and go all the way up one leg and then the other. I then tan the middle of my body and my back, leaving my arms and neck/face for last. Tanning your face is totally optional. Some people do and some don’t. I do because I don’t like the look of a light face and dark body, even though makeup will cover it up. Loving Tan does not cause my sensitive skin to break out so I don’t have to worry about that.
♥Enjoy Your Healthy Bronzed Skin
Once your tan is applied, let it dry for a few minutes before getting dressed. Be sure not to bend your arms while the tan is wet as it will cause the tan to remove from that area. I always forget this part so I apply a translucent face powder to the insides of my arms which helps absorb the access moisture without removing the color.
If you are using the 2 Hr Express Mousse, I usually shower after 2-3 hours with just water to remove the excess product. If you are using the Deluxe Mousse and tanned at night, just do the same in the morning before you get ready.
The amazing thing about Loving Tan is it fades very evenly, but to help with this process I do recommend keeping your skin moisturized. My tan usually lasts about a week or so before completely fading, which I am comfortable with.
And that’s it! Now you have beautifully bronzed skin without the damage. I know you may feel like you are giving something up by not using a tanning bed, but trust me when I tell you your skin will thank you for it later. There just is no reason to expose yourself to such harsh lights. It is not worth it for your long-term appearance or, more importantly, your health.
I hope you found this article useful and will give self-tanning a try. Even if you are not convinced to give up the tanning bed, just try Loving Tan out. You will be pleasantly surprised!