CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In preparation for summer, many people visit a tanning salon or begin using a sunless tanner. But as they become more aware of health concerns related to sun and tanning bed exposure, people are seeking alternatives.
There are many sunless tanning options, but it can be difficult to find the option that is the best for you. We solicited advice from a local tanning expert, Misty McMinn of Glow on the Go, for tips on getting the best, and safest, summer glow.
Q: What is the first thing you should do before using a sunless tanning product?
A: The most important step of the sunless tanning process is to properly prepare your skin. Proper exfoliation is step one. You must be particular in the exfoliant you use because you are removing dead skin cells and clearing your skin of oils and perfumes. Many exfoliants have heavy oils and it will cause the spray tanning solution to bead up and prevent the solution from absorbing properly.
It is very important to moisturize. Your skin can be too dry, and the sunless tanning product could dry your skin out as well, which could cause the skin to flake or crack.
The day before you use a tanning product, you should exfoliate and moisturize. The next day, you should exfoliate and then apply the sunless tanning product.
If you plan to get a manicure or pedicure, you should do it before your spray tanning session because the products used at a nail salon could ruin your sunless tan.
Q: What are the options for obtaining a spray tan?
A: You can seek support and expertise from a technician, visit a salon with spray tanning booths, or use a spray-tanning product at home. A technician provides quality products and support and can answer questions you may have.
Technicians also have products available that allow for touchups or general at-home applications. Technicians tailor the products and application to your skin.
You won't receive one-on-one assistance and tailored formulas with the booth. The booths work best on olive skin tones, but the solution doesn't always get applied evenly.
Q: What should I wear to get a spray tan?
A: What you wear during your spray tan depends on why you're getting it. If you're going to be wearing a bikini on the beach or the stage, you need to take the lines of that bikini into consideration when choosing what to wear during your session. If you're going to be wearing a strapless gown, you won't be able to wear a full bra. Your spray tan technician will be asking you about the lines of your garment to make sure there are no tan lines for your big event.
After your spray tan, you will need to wear loose-fitting clothes only. Preferably no bra and no socks. Sandals would be great. You need to give the formula time to absorb and develop on your skin. Tight fitting and restrictive clothes could rub the spray tan off in places before it has had time to develop. If your vehicle has leather seats and you're wearing shorts, bring a towel to place between your skin and the leather.