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Are you hitting the beach early on a holiday or trying to recapture that tanned look from last summer? Fortunately, there are a bevy of tanning tricks available to you that will not damage your skin or leave you at risk for skin cancer. Follow these tips to get that bronzed, glowing skin during the winter months.
Glowing Skin 101
1. Skip the Tanning Bed
Tanning beds are still a popular choice for those dying to have a perfect tan. However, mounting evidence has all but directly linked UV exposure to skin cancer and premature aging.
Don’t buy the myths spread by tanning salons to entice you to book an appointment! For example, tanning bed advocates will state that a base tan will prevent sunburns or damage — this is completely untrue. Any tan is considered sun damage by dermatologists. Every time sunlight or tanning light shines on your skin, it sends radiation, which can lead directly to melanoma — and melanoma kills about 10,000 Americans each year.
Many more myths abound. Some still claim that tanning hides acne scars, which is visibly untrue. Plus, there is evidence to suggest that sunlight and acne are actually linked.
If you want to avoid wrinkles, age spots, freckles, and a high risk of cancer, it is best to avoid the tanning beds. Instead, opt for a healthier choice. There are many products available that can give you a bronzed look without stepping out into the sun. Try a self-tanning lotion for a gradual and safely tanned look.
2. Go for a Natural Glow
If you are prepping your skin for the winter with a self-tanner, consider how tan you are trying to get. As with makeup, the general rule is that in order to maintain a natural-looking glow, you should strive to go no more than two shades darker than your natural skin tone.
It may not seem like much, but if you have been scrolling through your Instagram with pictures of tanned bodies, you will notice the striking difference right away. The truth is that there is a fine line between a luminous bronze finish, and the look of a toaster oven gone wrong.
So, imagine you are a piece of bread in a toaster. Whether you are Wonder Bread white or whole wheat tan, be sure you determine how high you want to crank up the heat.
3. Hydrate and Moisturize
When it comes to healthy skin, hydration is key. If you would like to avoid the flaky uneven look of a taro root, you want to first gain and retain the moisture of your skin. Drink the standard two liters of water per day, and an additional two to three cups of green tea per day as well.
The green tea will keep you hydrated and has antioxidant polyphenols that help neutralize free radicals to keep skin from aging. Hydration will ultimately improve your circulation to keep skin fresh.
Also, for your face in particular, apply a night cream such as Neutrogena Light Night Cream and a day cream with a high SPF to retain moisture to keep your skin from looking chapped in the cold and windy winter weather.
4. Exfoliate and Shave First
You are about to work so hard to get that beautiful tan, do not waste it all by exfoliating and shaving after you apply the tanning lotion. Shave first with a new razor, as this will take care of much of the exfoliation for you, and then apply a gentle exfoliate to clear the skin of additional flakiness.
5. Pick the Right Tanning Product
There are many self-tanners on the market that can give you a healthy bronzed look. There is a diverse array of products for dry, greasy, or combination skin that can last. Research products that will be good for your natural skin. One option we like is Kiehl’s Sun-Free Self-Tanning Formula, which is known for not having that distinctive tanner smell and is not greasy.