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If You Can’t Tone It, Tan It :: My Self Tanning Routine
As moms, we deserve to look and feel our best. I don’t know about you, but after a few babies my body may never be what it was – and that’s okay. In this busy phase of life, I don’t have all the time in the world to hit the gym, so my motto is “If you can’t tone it, tan it!” Here is my self-tanning routine.
When it comes to self-tanning, it can feel more intimidating than it really is. There are so many products to choose from. You worry that you will turn out streaky, or even worse orange (hello Bride Wars!)
The key to the perfect at-home self-tan is picking the perfect products and prepping your skin correctly.
My Self-Tanning Routine
A great self-tan starts before you ever apply any product. You must first prep your skin.
I always start by shaving my legs. I like to do this the day before I plan to tan. Otherwise, the tanning lotion will sometimes sink into the pores on your legs leaving small dots.
After your legs are nice and smooth it’s time to exfoliate your skin. I’m not too picky about which one I use as long as it’s nice and giddy. I use a loofa or my hands to scrub my entire body focusing heavily on any rough patches of skin.
Now it’s time for the fun part, getting that summer glow! There are only three products I use when actually tanning – lotion, an application mitt, and a good tanning lotion or mousse.
I start by applying lotion to the rough patches of skin on my body and places where I don’t want the lotion to adhere to as much. Usually, I focus on my elbows, knees, ankle bones, hands, and feet.
My Go To Self Tanners
I have tried MANY different tanning lotions and after much trial and error (and some undesirable tans) I’ve settled on two that I rotate between. They are both a tad pricey, but one bottle will last me the entire summer. My favorites are San Tropez bronzing mousse and Loving Tan 2 Hour Express.
There really is no secret tip to applying sunless tanner correctly. I just put a pump or two on my mitt and rub rub rub. The reason I love these two lotions is that they have a tinted color guard so you can see where you have applied it.
I usually get my husband to do my back and those hard-to-reach areas, but they make back applicators if you don’t have someone available to help you. I also rarely waste lotion tanning my stomach because this mama’s not wearing a two-piece anytime soon.
Don’t freak out if you look REALLY dark. It will tone down drastically when you wash it off. After I’ve applied the lotion to my entire body I put on pajamas or loose-fitting clothes. Usually, I tan at night so I go straight to bed.
After the tanning lotion has had time to set (usually anywhere from 2-4 hours) it’s time to rinse off. I jump in the shower and use only my hand to gently rub the top color layer off. You don’t want to scrub too hard. Then I pat myself dry.
Following my self-tanning routine makes me look like I just came back from a week at the beach. It usually lasts for about a week when I’m doing normal day-to-day activities.