It is tough to maintain a tan during the colder months of the year, but there are a couple of ways to bronze your skin and get a fake tan. You can create a fake tan on your own by using a bronzer or self-tanner. You can also visit a professional and get a spray tan or bronze your skin in a tanning booth. By using one of these methods, you can keep that golden look even during fall and winter!

EditUsing a Self-Tanner

  1. Exfoliate your skin with a brush or washcloth. You need to remove dead skin cells before using a self-tanner to ensure the color will be as even as possible. Lightly dampen a washcloth and use it to gently rub the exfoliator into your skin in a circular motion. Continue to do this until youíve applied exfoliant to your entire body. Rinse off the exfoliant with lukewarm, not hot, water.[1]

    • If you have oily skin, exfoliate by wetting a brush, sponge, or scrub and rubbing your skin in gentle, circular motions for 30 seconds at a time.
    • If you have dry, sensitive, or acne-prone skin, use a washcloth and a mild exfoliator.
    • Spend 2-3 extra minutes exfoliating the parts of your body where your skin is thickest. This includes the elbows, knees, and ankles.

  2. Moisturize your skin right after exfoliating to keep it healthy. Exfoliating your skin can dry it out. To prevent this from happening, dry off after rinsing the exfoliator off. Then, apply moisturizer immediately to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.[2]

    • During exfoliation, we get rid of the protective natural oils produced by our skin. Replenishing the skin with moisture will allow it to function properly.

  3. Let your skin dry before applying self-tanner to help it go on evenly. Make sure your body is completely dry before you put the self-tanner on your skin. Otherwise, you risk streaking your tanner. Allow any excess water or moisturizer to absorb before putting on the self-tanner.[3]
  4. Apply your self-tanner in sections. Take some self-tanner from the bottle and rub it into your arms. Gently massage the tanner into your skin in a uniform, circular motion. Once youíve covered your arms, wash your hands with soap and water and wipe them with a towel. Then, get some more self-tanner and rub it into your legs. Wash your hands after youíve finished up with your legs and move on to your torso and back.[4]

    • Youíll avoid orange-colored palms if you wash your hands after finishing up a section of your body.

  5. Blend the tanner at your wrists and ankles for a natural look. You donít want the tanner to immediately stop at your wrists and ankles, so lightly extend the tanner onto your hands and feet. Rub the tanner in a circular motion in between your wrists and hands. Then, wash your hands and do the same thing in between your ankles and feet.[5]

    • Donít apply tanner to the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet.

  6. Wait 10 minutes to get dressed so your skin can dry. You donít want the tanner to streak or get messed up, so wait for at least 10 minutes before putting your clothes back on. For the ensuing 3 hours, wear loose clothes and stay in a cool area of your home to avoid sweating.[6]

    • Donít shower until the next day.

EditGetting a Spray Tan

  1. Shave at least 1-2 days before your spray tan so your pores can close. Wax or shave 24-48 hours before your appointment to give your pores time to close. If you wait until the day of, the tanning spray could clog your pores.[7]

    • Donít wear deodorant or perfume the day before your tan.

  2. Exfoliate the night before getting a spray tan. If you have dry, sensitive skin, use a washcloth and exfoliant to remove dead skin cells. Put dabs of exfoliant all over your body and rub it into your skin with a lightly dampened washcloth. Rub in a gentle, circular motion to work the exfoliant into your skin without hurting it. If you have oily skin, take a brush, scrub, or sponge and physically remove the dead skin cells by rubbing your body in a circular motion.[8]

    • Do not exfoliate the day of the spray tan.

  3. Apply lotion to ensure the tanner goes on smoothly. Put on moisturizer just before your appointment. Pay special attention to the dry areas of your body, like your elbows, knees, and feet.[9]
  4. Wear loose clothing to your appointment. Donít wear skinny jeans, leggings, or sports bras. Wear a jumpsuit or sweats to make sure the tanner doesnít stain your clothes. Put on black clothes because the tanner wonít show up as much on them.[10]

    • When youíre at home, wear loose-fitting pajamas or a floaty dress and stay in a cool area to avoid sweating.

  5. Get a professional spray tan to avoid streaks and spots. Spray tans can correct any tan lines you might not want and give your body an even tan. Youíll have to remove all your clothes in front of the spray tan professional, so make sure youíre comfortable with this. Once you disrobe, the professional will spray your body from the neck down to evenly cover you in the tanner. This process should take about 25-30 minutes.[11]Advertisement

    • Many spas and tanning salons offer this service and it can cost up to $100 per session.
    • Spray tans last for about 1 week.

  6. Hop in a spray tan booth for a cheaper alternative. Booth tans are about $25 per session, so theyíre not nearly as expensive as airbrush tans. You also get some more privacy, as youíll be naked but covered by the booth itself. Youíll have to wear goggles and a shower cap to protect your eyes and hair. Expect to stand in the booth for a few minutes while a machine sprays tanner onto your skin.[12]
  7. Wait to shower until the next morning so the tan stays put. The tan takes 8 hours to fully develop. Avoid showering or taking a bath until the day after your spray tan.[13]

    • You should avoid swimming pools for 3-4 days after your tan. If you do want to swim, rinse the chlorine off your skin as soon as you get out. Otherwise, the chlorine will fade your tan quickly.


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