Getting the year-round sun-kissed glow you’ve always wanted doesn’t have to mean baking on the beach or using a tanning bed to get a little color. Considering that the American Academy of Dermatology reports that tanning beds can increase your risk of melanoma by up to 59 percent, spray tans are clearly the wiser alternative to risky traditional tanning. However, for many people, the potential downsides of getting a spray tan, like streaky color, outweigh the benefits. Fortunately, exfoliating properly before applying your spray tan can make it easy to achieve the even, golden color you want, making you look leaner, healthier, and like you just stepped off the beach, no matter how low the temperature dips. Here’s how:
Use a loofah: Even if you don’t have a local spa to get an exfoliating treatment at before your spray tan, you can still make sure your skin is soft and supple right in the privacy of your own home by using a loofah. These rough natural materials are perfect for quick exfoliation that will ensure your spray tan looks beautifully even.
Concentrate on your joints: Making sure your spray tan stays even means knowing which areas need a little extra TLC in the exfoliation department. That means concentrating your efforts on your joints—specifically your elbows and ankles—where persistent dry skin can cause your spray tan to over-deposit color, making your entire tan look fake. Just make sure you don’t over-exfoliate either: microtears in your skin can cause irritation or infection when spray tan is introduced.
Make sure to moisturize first: Before you start exfoliating, make sure you’ve been moisturizing for a few days first. This will help those often-scaly patches on your skin, like your ankles and elbows, get softer before you start exfoliating them, making it easier to rid them of dry skin and making your tan appear more even. You can even use your own DIY moisturizer—a little coconut oil scented with some essential oils is a great all-natural approach to dry skin.
Create your own scrub: Want to get your skin baby smooth in seconds? Make your own scrub. Mix a few tablespoons of coconut or jojoba oil with white sugar and add a few drops of your preferred essential oils until the combination forms a paste. Apply to wet skin and scrub in concentric circles until your skin is baby smooth.
Scrub when your skin is warm: If you want smoother skin, try doing your exfoliation when your skin is still warm and wet. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you need a luxury condo sauna in your building to get the job done. Simply run the shower with hot water, keeping the doors and windows closed, and let the steam open your pores and soften your skin before you start exfoliating.
You don’t have to be stuck with your pallid complexion all year long just because the prospect of a streaky spray tan worries you. A little exfoliation can make your spray tan look better, and last longer. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get scrubbing!