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How to: Maintain a safe tan after summer

A nice tan instantly gives you a healthy glow! However, there is no need to bake in a tanning bed day-after-day. Here’s my guide to keeping a safe summer glow after Labor Day:

Step #1: Exfoliate
Exfoliation is one of the most important steps when it comes to sunless tanning. Getting rid of dead skin cells is absolutely crucial when going sunless! It gives the tanning solution something to stick to on your skin without looking streaky. It is super inexpensive, too! All that you need is a good body scrub.

I typically buy my body scrubs at Target or Ulta, so I don’t have to spend a fortune. My current favorite is (1) Tree Hut Shea Sugar Tropical Mango Body Scrub. You get a huge container (18 ounces) for under $10 and it smells amazing!

You will want to exfoliate at least 4 hours before you apply any sunless tanner. Also, don’t forget to scrub your face! Face scrubs work great, but I like using my (2) Clarisonic Mia to clean out my pores.


Step #2: Get Your Tan On!
There are so many ways to get a sunless tan nowadays that there is virtually no reason to use a tanning bed. If you have never gone sunless before, you may want to try a couple different methods to see which works best for you.

I am and have always been obsessed with spray tans. They are the most effective form of sunless tanning, and I am never left streaky or orange. Many tanning salons offer a spray tan booth either by the name of  (3) Mystic Tan or Versa Spa. I’ve heard great things about the latter, but I stick to Mystic.

If you want a more customized spray tan, I highly suggest getting professionally airbrushed. This option is a bit more pricey than the booth but the results are flawless. Airbrush tans are great option for special occasions.

There is a wide variety of sunless sprays, lotions, and gels on the market if you are searching for a cheap way to get tan. I like to keep my (4) Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion on hand for times when I can’t get a spray tan. This lotion is one of the best drugstore brands that I have ever used.

Step #3: Moisturize
Once your tan has settled into your skin, it is extremely important to moisturize. This will help your color last longer and will keep your tan looking fresh. It doesn’t really matter which type of moisturizer you use, as long as it doesn’t dry out your skin. I really like (5) Burt’s Bees’ line of GUD body lotions. Each one smells amazing and truly leaves my skin feeling smooth.

If you continue through the steps I’ve provided to maintain your sunless tan, there really isn’t a reason to lay in a tanning bed. Most of the options available allow you to develop a tan quickly and safely. Being tan is definitely attractive but skin cancer and wrinkles are not!

Graphic credit: Amber Johnson


About the Author

Gabrielle Bogan

Gabrielle holds a B.A. in Communications from University at Albany. She enjoys beauty and fashion, reading non-fiction books, and white wine. She aspires to be a motivational coach and speaker for young women to help them feel better in their own image.


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