Jordan Reid is the founding editor of RamshackleGlam.com and the host of the DIGS Channel show. She’s a former Manhattanite, new mom and author of, “The New Mom’s Haphazard Guide to (Almost) Having it All.”
Finally, the warm weather is just about here. But while most of us are certainly ready to embrace the sun’s rays in spirit, we could still use a little prep work before we start skipping off in shorts and skirts with our winter-white skin out for all to see. To the rescue: the perfect self-tanner application.
The key to an even sunless tan: thorough (but gentle) exfoliation, and the removal of surface oils.
Prep Your Face:
1. Start by removing all traces of makeup and dirt from your skin with Simple Skincare Smoothing Facial Scrub – it’s a perfect product for this particular job because it cleanses and exfoliates in a single step (and without irritating sensitive skin). Apply a small amount to damp skin and gently rub it in a circular motion, the rinse with warm water and dry completely.
2. Skip the moisturizer – any residue on your skin will prevent the tanning product from absorbing.
3. Apply a small amount of self-tanner to the entire face, being careful to avoid the hairline and eyebrows. Blend the product into the jawline and neck, smoothing any excess over your ears.
4. After application, thoroughly wash your hands (including between your fingers!) so that you don’t end up with dyed palms; there’s no surer sign than a tan has been faked.
Prep Your Body:
1. Skip waxing for at least 24 hours prior to self-tanning in favor of a shower with a non-oily scrub or an exfoliating body mitt.
2. Shave your legs using a non-moisturizing shaving product (or plain soap) to remove unwanted hair and provide an additional dose of exfoliation.
3. Make sure that your skin is completely dry before you begin applying the self-tanning product.
4. Apply a thin layer of self-tanner to the entire body. To avoid over-tanning rough areas like the knees, elbows, and tops of feet, do not apply self-tanner directly to these areas; just smooth over whatever excess is left on your hands.
5. Wash your hands thoroughly.
P.S. Don’t forget: your skin may look sun-kissed, but it still needs protection from the rays, so make sure to apply Simple Skincare Protecting Light with SPF 15 on your face (and a comparable SPF-containing product on your body) every time you leave the house.
This article originally appeared on Jordan Reid’s blog, Ramshackle Glam.