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Tips on tanning: Get a healthy, natural-looking glow without damage

With all of the sunless tanning sprays, gels and foams out there today, you are sure to find a healthy option that works for you.

You don't have to trade paleness for streaks. Whichever product you choose, there are several techniques that will make them look their best.

Pick your product. One way to make sure you are getting an even application is to choose a product labeled "instant color." This means you will see color immediately, making it easier to tell where you have already applied it and how smoothly it is going on. That said, having a self-tanner that darkens gradually as you apply more coats is also beneficial. This way, you have a little more control over how dark the color gets so you won't look unnatural. Try one like Sunsoak Age-Defying Self Tanner, which gradually darkens and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

Prep your skin. Exfoliating is key to getting an even application of self-tanner. Any patches of dry, rough skin will absorb more of the dye, leaving you looking splotchy or streaky. Get a good scrub in before you even reach for the self-tanner, focusing on particularly rough spots like elbows, knees and feet.

Follow a technique. You can apply self-tanner like you would lotion, but it can be helpful to follow a certain order.

1. Start at your thighs, working the tanner down your legs so that only a little bit is applied to your ankles, which don't need much anyway.

2. Cover your midsection, always making sure to keep your fingers held tightly together to prevent streaks. You might want to get a spray to reach your back and other tricky areas.

3. Once you reach your arms, do the same thing you did with your legs, making sure only a little is applied to your wrists.

Once you have finished, wash your hands immediately with soap and water. Then, dab some places that tend to be trouble spots with cotton balls or a damp washcloth. Places to troubleshoot include cuticles, knuckles, elbows, knees, insides of wrists and ankles. Use an even, back-and-forth motion to prevent these areas from turning extra (and unnaturally) dark.

Keep clean. Make sure not to let any other substance touch your skin until you have taken your first shower (which should not be until about 12 to 24 hours later). This means staying away from deodorant, essential oils, perfume or lotion.

Also, any time you wash your hands, be careful not to let any splashes or drops of water touch your skin elsewhere, as this can cause the tanner to streak or look spotty.

Finally, you can slip into those cute summer skirts and dresses and feel good about it!

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing