Back in my younger days, I used to worship the sun. In high school, I would go either to the pool or out on my back deck and just plain bake. With nothing on me but baby oil. And the darker I could get, the better! How many of you reading this right now did the same thing? We didn’t really know how harmful the sun was back then. All we cared about was achieving that golden glow.
Around the time that I was in high school, tanning beds started becoming all the rage, and I jumped right on that band wagon! What a fabulous idea, right? You could go lay in the bed for 1/ 2 hour and have an awesome tan, instead of spending the entire day laying out! I used to go to the tanning bed starting every spring. Then I would stop in the summer time because I could go to the pool to get my sun on. I continued with the pattern of tanning bed in the spring and laying out at the pool in the summer for many years. Probably up until about 6 years ago actually. Although for a few years before I stopped, I did cut down. I would go to the bed about 10 times or so during the spring.
All of that came to a halt for me after I had a few different abnormalities on my skin in various places. Two were on my chest, and one was on my leg. I went to my dermatologist and had each removed, and all three came back as basal cell carcinoma. In case you don’t know what that is, it is skin cancer. It is not nearly as dangerous as melanoma though, which can be deadly. My Dr. explained to me that this was caused by past sun damage, not recent. He said this was happening to me because of all of the years I worshipped the sun. That was enough to get me to stop the tanning bed. I have never went back, and I never will. I do still go to the pool and lie in the sun, but I always wear sun screen, reapply every so often, and I don’t spend the entire day sunbathing anymore.
No matter what, I still love to have that sun kissed look in the spring. It just makes me feel so much better about myself. Everyone looks better with a tan! I am not talking a deep dark tan, like I used to aspire to attain. I am talking a sun kissed glow. I have used self tanner during the spring months ever since I gave up the tanning bed, and I think I have it down to a science! I often have people to ask me how I achieve my tan, and when I tell them I use self tanner they say they are surprised because it looks so natural. So I decided to share my secrets with you today. This is my tried and true method for getting the perfect bit of color for spring without spending a second in the sun.
I do not purchase expensive products to achieve my self tan. All of the products I use, I purchase from Wal Mart. Here are the three products that I use for my tan:
1. Jergens Natural Glow gradual self tanner.
2. Neutrogena micro mist airbrush tanning spray.
3. Whatever moisturizing body lotion that you like to use. This is what I have been using lately:
And here is my secret method. It is important to note that I am not using these products as directed. I am using them as I have found they work best for me to achieve the look I desire.
1. Shower or bathe- I use a bath pouf to wash with, and I always shave my legs before I do this.
2. After you have dried off, take the Jergen’s Natural Glow and your regular moisturizing lotion and you are going to use equal amounts of each. I squeeze my Jergen’s Natural Glow out into my hand while counting to 5 or 6, then I squirt the same exact amount of lotion into my hand right on top of that. I rub it around in my hands until it is all mixed up and start applying it. I am careful to get it rubbed in really well, and evenly all over. I try to be extra careful around my ankles, knees and elbows. Keep squeezing and mixing and applying until you have covered all areas of your body that you want to cover.
3. Wash your hands. I try to wash only the palms of my hands so that I don’t wash it all off of the tops of my hands.
Once Per Week:
1. Shower or bathe the same as you do for the daily part of the process, above.
2. After you have dried off, spray the self tanner as evenly as possible all over the parts of your body that you want to tan. I try to do it in long, light, even strokes. Be careful not to get too much on your foot area. It can build up and look orange in between your toes.
3. Immediately after you have finished with the spray, and before it is dry, apply your regular moisturizing lotion just the same way you always do- all over the places you just sprayed.
4. Wash your hands as stated above.
And that is it! If you use this method, you should not see any streakiness, or orangey look to your skin. Once in a while you might notice that it looks funny around your ankles, elbows, and knees. If so, I just take my bath pouf when I bathe or shower and scrub those areas really good with that. It will take it right off. I have been using for about 4 years now, and it is what I have found works the best for me. I don’t look too dark, but just enough color that I feel better about myself and feel like I can show my arms and legs a little. And like I said before, I get lots of compliments on how natural it looks. People think I went to a tanning bed.
I still have the urge to go to a bed once in awhile, I am just being honest. But I know that my health is way more important in the big scheme of things, than a suntan. I want to be around to see my children grow up, and I don’t want to have to have any other places removed by my dermatologist. The scars are not worth it!
I hope you found this helpful. If you shy away from self tanner’s because you are afraid that it will look orange or streaky, give this a try! I think you will be happy with the results! Here is a picture of me taken recently with my self tanned skin. Just so you can have a reference.
Have a great weekend! I hope to be spending a little of it by the pool, with my sunscreen close by!