How to Get a Quick Sunless Tan

by S.R. Becker

Although the American Academy of Dermatology warns against tanning due to the risk of skin cancer, that doesn't mean you have to be pale. Not only does sunless self-tanning lotion give you a quick tan, it prevents the need to expose yourself to the sun's dangerous rays. Best of all, you don't have to shell out the cash for a spray tan in a salon when you can tan yourself quickly with sunless self-tanning lotion at home.

Items you will need

  • Exfoliating shower gel
  • Loofah
  • Washcloth
  • Self-tanning lotion
Step 1

Exfoliate in the shower to remove any dead skin, which can make your self-tanner appear uneven. Use a shower gel with microbeads, a loofah or a washcloth to scrub your whole body. Dry your skin thoroughly with a towel and skip your usual lotion or body oil.

Step 2

Apply the self-tanning lotion one body part at a time, washing your hands after each section to keep your palms from turning orange. Rub the lotion into your skin by massaging in circles with your fingertips. Save your elbows, wrists, knees and ankles for last.

Step 3

Wet an old washcloth you don't mind staining. Rub the self-tanner on the joints you skipped in Step 2. Immediately after applying, wipe your joints lightly with the washcloth to prevent uneven staining.

Step 4

Rub a thin layer of self-tanner onto your neck, face and the tops of your feet to prevent obvious tan lines. Wipe your toes lightly with the washcloth to prevent staining your joints.

Step 5

Leave the self-tanner on for 10 to 15 minutes before putting on clothes. When you get dressed, wear loose, old clothing you don't mind staining. Leave the self-tanner on your body for the amount of time recommended on the package or until your skin is as dark as you want it to be, then wash it off in the shower.

Warnings

  • Continue to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 when out in the sun, and reapply every two hours. Artificial tans do not protect your skin from sun damage.

Photo Credits

  • Ralf Nau/Lifesize/Getty Images

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.