It’s that time of year again, when the birds start chirping and your bum get burned sitting in your hot car. Everyone whips out their various products: TIME TO START TANNING. I don’t know if there’s an actual memo email that goes out to women all over the states, but it seems like we all know just about when, and join in.

The Options- There are several ways to achieve an Adrianna Lima-goddess-style tan.

1) Self-tanning at home with products

2) Mystic or Airbrush tanning at the salon

3) A tanning bed

4) and of course the old-fashioned way, but lounging around at the beach or pool.

The Products- There are two different kinds of products for faking a tan on the market. One “stains” the skin for about a week, the other is simply a colored lotion with bronzer that washes off at the end of the night.

My absolute fave, as posted above, is St. Tropez Mousse. The mousse comes out a deep dark brown and develops into a golden tan on the skin. The mousse texture makes it easy to fix if you make mistakes over the elbows and knees. Moisturize your arms legs. On days I don’t use St. Tropez, I touch up with the Neutrogena Micro Mist spray in Dark or Deep Dark. The reason I run out into the backyard when I’m using the Micro Mist is because I’m not a fan of the harmful stuff that comes out of an aerosol can. I don’t want my doggy breathing it in!

mystic-tan-core-club-durham-ct

I always recommend Mystic or Airbrush tanning for special occasions. What’s Mystic, you ask? You go into a machine naked with a bonnet over your hair and are blasted with micro-fine mist of tanner liquid. This process takes 2 minutes tops and develops throughout the day. Don’t shower for at least 8 hours to get the full effect. Most places offer a Groupon for it, keep your eyes peeled!

The other option is Airbrush Tanning. This is where you hire a professional at either the salon or someone who comes to you with their airbrush machine and compressor. They will spray you down individually with the same type of bronzer liquid. Just like Mystic, Airbrush Tanning will get darker throughout the day, so avoid showering for about 8 hours. Airbrush Tanning is preferred as it’s more of a “service.” Do whatever fits in your budget.

The last two options will expose you to harmful sun rays, leaving you susceptible to melanoma (skin cancer) and aging your skin (those tiny wrinkles around your eyes? Yup, that was the sun). Just avoid them at all costs! And at the beach and the pool, SPF 35 and above for your body. Reapply every two hours. Floppy hat? Check Dark sunglasses? CHECK.

The Steps For Self-Tanning At Home

For an even tan, use a body scrub with a loofah in the shower to slough off dead skin. Pat dry and apply a light lotion to your arms and legs. This will help your tanner go on smoother and avoids drying or cracking into the skin later. Here’s the tricky part: Apply your mousse or tanner lotion with the QUICKNESS. This stuff dries very quickly so you have to be fast. If you are using a Mist, you won’t need to rub it in, they are designed to melt right into your skin. Rub the bronzer mousse or lotion into the elbows and knees sparingly…these areas get dark and splotchy very quickly. Have a friend help you if you can’t reach your back.

Voila! Enjoy your glow for the next 3-4 days, then repeat this sunless and harm-free routine again and again.

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