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Tips on Getting Spray Tans If You're Fair Skinned

by Erica Loop

Possessing fair skin can be a major contributor to the development of skin cancer. Instead of rolling the dice with your health just to get a tropical tint, keep your fair skin from sizzling and opt for a faux glow with a spray tan. A spray tan can provide you with an alternative to baking in the sun for hours. However, the right application makes the difference between a subtle sheen and day-glo orange streaks.

Exfoliate to Make It Great

Taking a step to prep before your spray tanning session can help ensure an even tone and absorption. Exfoliate your body everywhere that you plan to tan. This will remove the dead skin cells and make it easier for you to get a more even tone. This is especially important for fair-skinned girls who may show slight variations in color than those who are starting with a darker base. You can use a sea salt or sugar exfoliator or an exfoliating sponge to slough off the cells before you fake bake.

Remove Moisture Barriers

Putting a barrier between your freshly exfoliated fair skin and the spray tanning liquid won't get you a beautifully bronzed look. Before spray tanning, remove all lotions or creams from your skin. Leaving remnants on your skin will act as block, resulting in a final tan that has streaky or splotchy white spots where your fair tone shows through.

Makeup Considerations

Like lotions and creams, makeup also acts as a barrier to your spray tan. Additionally, makeup that is darker than your actual skin tone, such as golden bronzers or rosy blush, may make it challenging to get the correct color on your fair-skinned face. Use a gentle makeup remover or a cleanser to get all of your foundation, concealer and other cosmetics completely off of your face and neck prior to tanning.

Color Extenders

In comparison to your less fair-skinned friends, your faux glow may fade fast. Instead of showing patchy white skin through your tan or reverting back to your pale pallor, keep your tropical tone going longer with a tan extender. There are an array of tan-extending products with varying ingredients. Try an extender with a subtle hint of self tanner in it to keep the color going. Avoid anything that gives you an large dose of self tanner or contains a deep bronzer. These will look unnatural against your fair complexion or give you a tell-tale orange sheen.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

  • Ralf Nau/Lifesize/Getty Images