Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Tanning but Were Afraid to Ask

We’ve all seen these beautiful models on television with those gorgeous tans. How, you wonder, are they able to acquire such a perfect tan? Surely they must have a ton of makeup artists working on them 24/7. Well, not necessarily. It is possible to get a perfect tan if you know how. So, if you’re envious of the super models and you’ve been struggling for years to get a perfect tan, but as yet have been unable to do so, then these 10 tanning tips will show, once and for all, how to get a perfect tan.  
  1. Make sure your body is free of dirt and dead skin cells
  2. Shave bikini lines before tanning
  3. Moisturize your skin thoroughly the night before
  4. Try not to get sun tan on the palms of your hands
  5. Do not miss any spots
  6. Apply tanning lotion smooth and evenly
  7. Avoid washing your hands before the tan is complete
  8. Keep the tanning period within the tanning lotion’s directions
  9. Wear loose-fitting clothing during the time immediately after tanning
  10. Touch up the hands and face periodically
  Before applying tanning lotion, make sure your skin is free of dirt and dead skin cells. This may require an exfoliation process. There are a number of exfoliating creams out there, one of which is Kiehl’s Photo-Aged Deep-Action Cleanser, for you to choose from so don’t worry about that. For best results, it is recommended that you exfoliate your skin in the shower since the hot water will assist in dislodging the dead skin cells from your skin. Once this process in complete, dab—not rub—dry with a soft towel.   To protect the sensitive skin that results from shaving from the harsh rays of the sun, allow at least 24 hours between shaving and venturing out into the sun. Since the hair in this area is usually coarser than anywhere else on the body, it is a good idea to soak the area with warm water and use a shaving gel. In addition, try stretching the skin so that it presents a leveler surface to prevent nicks. Shave with the grain at first until the hair is shorter; then against the grain for a clean, close shave. Run cold water over the area to close up the pores and then apply moisturizer. exfoliation and shaving processes since you don’t want to wash off the moisturizer before applying the tanning lotion. There are a number of fine moisturizing lotions, like Jergen’s Natural Glow, out there so just choose the one that works best for you. For best results, apply the moisturizing lotion liberally to your whole body, being careful not to miss any spots. The moisturizer will serve as a foundation for the tanning lotion to help prevent the sun from drying it out so bad.   Some people prefer not to get tanning lotion on the palm of their hands since it tends to darken the palms, if only temporarily. If you’re one of those, you can use latex gloves to apply the tanning lotion, though this may interfere with the application somewhat. If you choose to go this route, you’ll have to apply tanning lotion to the back of the hands once you’ve finished. Better is to go ahead and use your bare hands and then use a tanning lotion remover for the palms later. When applying the tanning lotion, make sure you don’t miss any spots. Don’t worry about going over the same area more than once; it won’t have any effect on the outcome of your tan. Missing spots, on the other hand, will result in splotches and a botched tan. This is certainly not what you had in mind, so be liberal with the tanning lotion. However, do not rub the tanning lotion into your skin as you would do with a moisturizing lotion. Instead, use gentle, smooth strokes and let your hand glide across your skin’s surface. Rubbing tanning lotion deep down into your skin will have no effect on how the product works. On the contrary, rubbing it in will could have the opposite effect and produce blotches in the tan.   To protect the integrity of your hand’s tan, avoid washing them for at least 2 hours after you’ve finished your tan. Nothing could be worse than the tell-tale signs of discolored hands after a tan. If you must use your hands for something like eating and you are germ conscious, use a hand sanitizer instead. Contrary to popular belief, your tan will not get deeper the longer you leave it on. Once it has done what the packaging says it will do, that’s it. So, stick to the time frame prescribed on the package. If you want a deeper tan, then you should repeat the tanning process on consecutive days until you achieve the desired results. Avoid wearing tight clothing immediately after tanning. Instead, wear dark, loose-fitting clothing. You should also avoid wearing tight underwear. Wearing tight-fitting clothing immediately after tanning could result in splotches in the tan. Since the hands and face will probably lose their tan quicker than the rest of your body, a touch-up may be required between tannings. There are products, like Rapid Face specifically designed for this, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding one. Simply use it every few days to keep your tan looking even.  

Where to tan

Now that you’ve mastered the necessary preparations that lead up to the tanning process itself, it is time to learn how to get that perfect with the least amount of discomfort as possible. As you know, getting that perfect tan could require you to lie out in the sun for hours. Of course, this doesn’t bother some people, but for those of you who do find this a bit uncomfortable, there are ways to make tanning less of a job. Some companies have manufactured lawn chairs that are specifically designed with the tanner in mind. The Cooling Sunsation Misting Lounge comes equipped with features that take the heat out of sun tanning. Special arm and head cavities into the lounge chair to permit freedom of arm movement, and make lying face-down more comfortable. This feature has the effect of lessening the likelihood of neck and back pain usually associated with lying on your stomach. Conversely, when you flip over, the specially designed lounge chair has a convenient pillow flap that you simply flip into position when you turn over. But that’s not all. Lounge tanning chairs come with a built-in sprinkler system. Simply hook to a garden hose and the chair bathes you with a gentle sprinkling of water, keeping you cool while you tan. However, some people prefer to tan the old fashion way like lying on a towel on the beach at mid-day.  

Tanning beds

Many people have chosen what they consider to be an easier way to tan: Tanning beds. Tanning beds are indeed a convenient way to get a tan, especially for people who like to wear that golden glow year round. But, for those who have never used a tanning bed before, there are some things you should know. Before getting into a tanning bed, make sure you know where all the buttons are. One of the salon’s employees should be able to help you with that. The tanning bed is equipped with buttons that can be shoulder operated. By using your shoulder, you can increase the fan speed, turn the radio volume up or down, and control the facial settings. When you enter the tanning bed, you can lay with your hands by your sides, or above your head. The position you assume depends on how thorough a tan you want under your arms and along your sides. Similarly, lying with your legs up permits more thorough tannin of your bottom than lying with them flat. However, not all tanning beds are the same. For example, the bulbs in some tanning beds are different than others. If the bulbs are new, they’ll tan quicker. In addition, some tanning beds have bronzing bulbs which are a lot stronger and can give you a longer-lasting deep-brown tan. Others have twister bulbs which are even stronger than bronzing bulbs which can give an all-over tan, even in those hard-to-reach bikini areas. There is another type of tanning bed that may be considered unorthodox by some: The stand-up tanning bed. This design is predicated upon the belief that you can get a better, more even tan in the standing position. In part because many people insist that, no matter what they try, they always end up with white lines along their torso when using the lie-down version. However, for the stand-up tanning bed to be effective, you must remain standing with your arms raised above your head for half the time you’re in it. But, don’t forget to lower your arms or you’ll end up with white stripes on your shoulders instead. To prevent those annoying white circles under your under arms, it is a good idea to remove your deodorant before tanning. Deodorants contain SPF which interferes with the tanning process. Stand-up tanning beds are perfect for preventing smiley faces on your rear you oftentimes get with flat beds. Simply stand with your legs spread slightly apart and that should do the trick. Before entering the tanning bed, however, it is important that you discuss procedures with the salon personnel how long you plan on staying in the tanning bed. The length of time spent depends largely upon your skin type. Some people have the misconception that if there is a change in coloration, the tanning process is beginning to take. However, if your skin turns red, then you’re burning, not tanning. But, whatever you do, do not go back into the tanning bed until your skin has healed.  

Spray tan tips

A spray-on tan is an even easier way to tan than the tanning bed. It is a great way to get a golden tan with the risk of skin damage. And, since it is applied as a fine mist from a sprayer, it goes on smooth and evenly and it only takes about 25 minutes. Spray-on tanning products contain DHA, a colorless sugar extracted from plants like sugar beets. It works on the principle of what happens to an apple when it is cut in half and is exposed to air. Dermatologists use it to treat pigmentation disorders. Many people who use spray-on tanning products today are not old enough to remember but Coppertone invented the procedure back in the 1960s, though with less than desirable results. However, the science has come a long way since then and the tan you get from spray-ons is comparable to other measures. Like with normal tanning, you should wash and exfoliate before applying the tanning product. The more dead skin cells you remove, the longer your tan will last, and it will look more even. If you’re going to shave or wax, be sure to do it the day before you apply the solution. In addition, do not wear any deodorants, perfume, of body oils. The spray-on tan should last for about seven days, depending on the user. And, just like with standard tanning procedures, avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes immediately after the tanning process. Give it at least six hours for the process to fully take hold. Remember, when you to get your spray-on tan, wear something that you don’t mind throwing away, like some old boxers or shorts. Girls can wear an old bathing suit or something. So, remember these spray tan tips the next time you go for a spray-on tan.   Tanning has been in vogue for about a generation now, and millions of young people flock to tanning salons in search of that perfect tan. Others prefer to take a different route and frequent salons and let the tanning bed do for them what mother nature wouldn’t. Still others have learned that they can get a golden, even tan in less than a half hour by having it sprayed on. These standard, tanning bed, and spray tan tips should help you decide in which direction you want to go come next spring.


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    1. Obviously in order to tan you need your skin exposed. You will always want to wear googles that the places offer to protect your eyes from harmful rays the tanning beds produces. Personally I do the standup tanning and I go in butt naked. But I’ve heard of some people going in with their bathing suits on or underwear. That produces tan lines that I personally don’t want.

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