It’s almost that time of the year when the most joyous and nationally observed event for our nation's youth takes place… spring break. Everyone from Ft. Lauderdale to San Diego will be partying all day and night and the dress code is strictly bathing suits only. But there’s only one issue, you can’t show up to spring break with your winter hibernation complexion, you need to be a bronzed, sun-kissed, golden goddess… basically anything other than Casper the friendly ghost. Luckily for you, we have your back, from prep to aftercare, so you can keep your tan flawless from when you arrive bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to when you leave drained and needing a 3-week nap.
Most don’t realize that self-tanning is a multistep process, probably why many claim that they hate it so much or that it always turns out patchy and never lasts. Well, that’s because of two things; one, they don’t prep or prime their skin before application nor do they provide proper aftercare, and two, they are using the wrong products! It is all about quality and knowing what is going to look and feel the best on your skin. Luckily for you, we are going to give you the 411 on all things self-tanning including the best products from prep to aftercare.
A smooth, even tan needs a smooth, even base, which means your skin has to be cleansed of all dirt, dead flaky skin, and oils. Exfoliating your skin will accomplish all of these things and will also prepare you to remove any unwanted hair before self-tanning. A good exfoliator should make a noticeable difference in the texture of your skin leaving you with a smooth, even base. Some of our personal favorites are the Vivier Skin Vitamin C Scrub, ATZEN Clear Scrub, Laki Naturals Body Scrubs, or the Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff 3-in-1 Body Scrub. All of these options are versatile in their own unique way so that you are able to pick one that pairs perfectly with your skin type.
Once your skin is exfoliated of all its impurities it’s time for the fun part, waxing! Now I get it, waxing seems painful and unnecessary and you’re thinking why can’t I just shave? Well, the answer is that shaving can actually negatively affect your tan as well. Not only does waxing keep hair from growing back for a longer period of time, but it comes in less coarse and thick too. This is all because waxing pulls the hair out with the root, and it makes it harder for the hair to grow back. Waxing can also be better for sensitive skin since shaving can cause ingrown hairs, reaction to the metal of the razor, and dry your skin. Waxing can also remove a lot of the dead skin that is around each hair follicle that a scrub may miss.
When it comes down to the pain of waxing there are steps you can take to lessen the amount of pain, but ultimately it is all up to how high your pain tolerance is. Some simple and easy steps that will help ease the pain of waxing are making sure your hair is 1/4-3/4 inches long, if it is longer, the experience will be more painful, so make sure to trim your hair to the appropriate length before you start waxing. Secondly, applying baby powder to the area you are waxing will allow for any excess oils to be absorbed that may be left on the skin, assuring that the wax will adhere to only the hair making sure not to pull at your skin or force you to go over the same area multiple times. Next, applying pressure to the area after you remove the wax for about 5 seconds will also help eliminate the initial pain/sting from removing the wax. Lastly, similar to exfoliating, you need to make sure you are using the best products possible for your skin. Luckily for you, Lycon has a wide range of products to choose from such as Hot Waxing Home Kit, Lycojet Lavender Hot Wax, Lycodream Hybrid Hot Wax, Lycojet Desert Rose Hot Wax, and many more. With these products, you are able to choose what is best for your specific waxing needs making sure every inch of your skin from head to toe is put into consideration.
Now that your skin is properly cleansed and waxed it is time to soothe and prime. We want to keep any excess oils away from our skin while actively soothing our skin from waxing, so any products that you use to prime should be a lightweight body moisturizer. It locks in moisture without overpowering your skin, allowing it to absorb, soften, and soothe your skin so that there are no dry flaxy patches that your tanner can cling onto. Some great body moisturizers that will provide you with the best results are DCL C Scape High Potency Body Lotion, Visha Face 2 Feet, Lycon Tea Tree Soothe Lotion, Lycon Soothing Cream, along with multiple other amazing options.
Once you have provided your skin with the TLC it needs post-exfoliation and wax, you’ll need to give it time to absorb the moisturizer and dry down. Your skin must be smooth and dry to the touch with no tackiness or residue left over. Once your skin has reached that level… it’s on to the fun part!
To achieve that sun-kissed, golden skin we’ve been talking about you need to first evaluate your skin tone. This will assure that you are finding a shade that will melt into your natural skin tone but that you are also using a brand that has the same undertones that you do. Most self-tanners can appear orange, green, or even yellow on the wrong skin tones, but not Cocoa Brown. Cocoa Brown is not only the first even 1-hour tan ever created in the world, but it is also a universal tan allowing you to tan without the fear of changing your skin tone completely, instead it allows you to deepen your natural skin color. Cocoa Brown contains natural extracts of the deliciously scented Tahitian Gardenia, which leaves a subtle floral fragrance on the skin with none of the fake tan odor most other self-tanners have. It was formulated to be suitable for all skin types, particularly dry/sensitive skin, and contains the highest grade of vegetable-derived DHA (dihydroxyacetone) - the active tanning ingredient, not the synthetically produced kind. This formula is nonstick meaning it dries in seconds you don’t need to worry about clothes clinging to your body or other materials rubbing the tan off your skin. Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan Mousse comes in three shades, Original Medium, Dark, and Extra Dark.
Original Medium: Deepens your natural skin tone by 2-3 shades.
Dark: Deepens your natural skin tone by 3-4 shades.
Extra Dark: Deepens your natural skin tone by 5-6 shades.
Once you chose your perfect shade you’re onto the application and the steps to applying this self-tanner are the easiest part of this entire process:
- Shake the container well.
- Turn the can upside down and spray the tanning mousse out onto your Cocoa Brown Double-Sided Velvet Mitt.
- Use circular motions with the mitt to buff the tan into your skin.
- Use a flathead stippling makeup brush to apply the tan to your hands and feet (and face if you desire).
- Wait 1-3 hours (depending on how deep you would like your tan to get) in dark loose clothing while your tan develops (to reduce transfer) and then gently rinse off in the shower.
The color you see in the mousse is a color guide so that you can see where you are applying the tan since DHA is colorless. Once you rinse the color guide off in the shower your tan will continue to develop, and your skin color will gradually deepen over a period of a few hours. This is a long-lasting self-tanner that lasts up to 7 days, assuring that it will last you all spring break long!
People assume that once your tan is on it’ll gradually dissipate and you’ll revert back to your natural skin color easy peasy, but that is not necessarily the case. A tan can not only last over a week with proper aftercare but your efforts will keep your tan from fading in patches. Constantly moisturizing your skin with the same products you used to prime your skin will lock in moisture providing your tanning agent with something to cling onto. Self-tanners adhere to moisturized skin, if you were to allow your skin to become dry and flaky the tan would have nothing to hold onto making it fade off the skin or even flake off with the dead skin. Another option is the Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze Gradual Tanning Moisturizer, which will keep your skin beautifully hydrated while obtaining a subtle bronzed glow. The gradual tan enables you to control how deep you want your tan to be and adds even more longevity to your already existing tan while giving your body a moisturizing experience. Unlike a mouse tanner, this won’t fade unevenly, and those properties will allow your self-tan to eventually fade in the same way.
The most important part of this all is that although your skin may be perfectly tanned doesn’t mean that you won’t burn. Making sure to constantly apply sunscreen while you're out in the sun will protect your skin from harmful UV rays without ruining your tanner, a win-win all around!
Once your tan has reached the end of its ropes you can restart the process all over again by using these same steps. Whether you’re looking for a subtle glow or a summer tan this process can be useful all year round. So, head into spring break with the confidence of knowing that you mastered the art of self-tanning and shopping these products and more at askderm.com today for your perfect spring break tan!
For more skincare advice, tips and product reviews follow us on Instagram at @askderm.