Sunless tanners can leave you looking gorgeous or like an Oompa Loompa that got laid off from the chocolate factory for the summer. I, unfortunately, have been at both ends of the spectrum. There was, however, a bright spot to my ill-fated, sunless tanning lotion experience. I actually learned something. Here’s what I discovered:
What to Do Before Applying Sunless Tanning Lotion
When it comes to applying sunless tanning lotions, proper preparation is crucial. Sunless tanning lotions are designed to color the top layer of your skin. Therefore, you are going to want to exfoliate first so the lotion has a clean and smooth surface to adhere to. Still not convinced? Think about your skin as a canvas. If the canvas is bumpy and rough, the paint the artist puts onto it is going to look bumpy and rough too right? Well, the same can be said for sunless tanning lotions, creases and dry patches of skin. The DHA in the sunless tanning lotion causes dead skin cells to change color. So it makes sense that if you have patches of dead skin cells, you are going to end up with uneven patches of color after applying sunless tanning lotions.
Another thing that you can do to prepare your skin for an application of sunless tanning lotion is to apply a layer of Bag Balm to the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet, your nails, knuckles, knees and elbows. My cousins had a dairy farm and they would use Bag Balm on the farm. They introduced the product to my parents, who used it in their beauty salon to soften fingernail cuticles during manicures and pedicures. In the process, we also discovered that the Bag Balm would keep the sunless tanning lotion from soaking unevenly into rough and creased patches of skin and nails. You can typically purchase Bag Balm through local feed and hardware stores. If you don’t have access to a can of Bag Balm, petroleum jelly or A+D Ointment will do in a pinch.
How to Remove Sunless Tanning Lotion Stains from Skin
In my experience, orange blotches caused by sunless tanning lotions can be removed fairly easily with Sea Breeze astringent. A 12 ounce bottle of Sea Breeze Astringent may be purchased through beauty supply stores and tends to sell for $8. In the case of a major sunless tanning lotion disaster, I have used the Sea Breeze astringent in conjunction with a loofah sponge and a good quality exfoliant. If you don’t have a bottle of Sea Breeze handy, rubbing alcohol will work too but it can dry out your skin.
Killeen Gonzalez’s parents were licensed cosmetologists. They owned and operated a full service beauty salon that offered tanning services.
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