Sun care: Get glowing

Tan beautifully from head to toe—the safe way

A tan from the sun can look great, but it’s just not worth all the risks. Skin cancer, wrinkles and splotchy skin are just a few of the effects of direct sun exposure. Even when you don’t burn, the sun’s rays still damage your skin, according to Winnipeg dermatologist Dr. Eileen Murray. Staying in the shade and using at least an SPF 15 at all times is the best way to keep your skin safe and healthy. But this doesn’t mean you have to forgo a golden glow: if you still want a great tan, try a fake one instead.

Faking a tan today is easier than ever before. Recent advancements in self-tanners—like the addition of bronzers, moisturizers and antioxidants—help give you a natural, even glow. Follow these steps for a foolproof application:

Start by exfoliating your entire body in a bath or shower. Use a scrub or a loofah and don’t forget to shave your legs. Pay extra attention when buffing all your rough spots like elbows, knees and ankles. Smooth, even skin will result in the best, blotch-free tan.

Soak it up
After your shower, let your skin air-dry as you get your mousse, gel or lotion ready. Start at your feet with a quarter-size squirt of gel or lotion or a small, golf ball-sized amount of mousse. Massage into your skin using a circular motion, working your way carefully and slowly up the body to your face. If using a self-tanning spray, spritz about six inches from the skin and make sure you don’t spray too long in one spot.

Blending spree
Esthetician Anna Ou recommends wearing a thin pair of gloves when applying self-tanner. “Gloves help you blend the self-tanner and protect the palms of your hand from absorbing too much colour.” Anna also suggests applying less product to feet, hands, elbows and knees, as the dry skin in these areas tends to get darker faster.

Want just a hint? Then tint!
If you are really terrified of missing spots on your body, use a tinted self-tanner instead. A tinted cream allows you to see where you have applied products and where you still need to.

Top it up
When self-tanning your face, use a face-specific product. Face self-tanners are often oil-free, water-based formulations, so they won’t cause pimples or breakouts. Make sure to blend the self-tanner into your hair line and don’t forget your ears.

The finishing touch
Once your golden glow is perfected, you’ll want to wear just the right amount of makeup to get that summer-fresh look. Skip the heavy foundations all together. Instead, try a tinted sheer foundation with an SPF 15 or a bronzer on a bare face. Powder or cream bronzers are great for creating a sun-kissed look. Apply the bronzer to your nose, forehead and cheeks. A great tip to remember when using bronzer is to put it where the sun would first hit your face. This will give you a natural glow and add definition to your features. For the rest of your face, minimal makeup is best. Use a cream shadow on your eyes for a dewy look. Stick to one or two neutral shades and top with waterproof mascara. Finally, for your lips, try a tinted lip conditioner with an SPF 15. A sheer shade will work perfectly with your new summer look.