Beauty How-To: Use a Gradual Tanner

Whether you’re craving a sun-kissed glow in the dead of winter, or simply looking for a healthier option than baking in a UV box, gradual tanning lotions are a safe tanning bet. Prep your skin and carefully follow directions to have a golden tan all year round.
Prepare Your Skin:
Exfoliate dead skin with a body scrub or loofah, then follow up with a good moisturizing lotion. Dry skin causes flaking, which leads to an uneven tan.

Timing is Key:
A gradual tanning lotion is going to take a few days to build up a color, so start using it within a week before you need to be bronzed. Closely follow the timeline on the package for frequency of applications, to avoid that fake orangish look.

Quantity Impacts Quality:
It might be tempting to lather on the gradual tanning lotion for a faster tan, but try to restrain yourself. Too much tanning lotion too fast leads to odd discoloration, instead of a natural build-up of color. Consider using a sponge or gloves as you apply enough lotion to rub into your skin, so that your palms don’t turn a funky color. Remember each area will require a different amount of product.

Keep Moisturized:
Keep your skin moisturized during the tanning process. Dry skin will flake off and cause abnormal coloring, but soft skin will maintain a lasting tan. Also avoid scrubs after you start tanning, because they will scrub away the color.