Tanning

Tanning Options

On your big day you want to look fabulous in your dress but you also want to make sure your skin does too! You can sit outside flipping back and forth trying to get a beautiful, even tan, but then you’ll have to worry about tan lines and the neighborhood kids letting curiosity get the best of them. You also cannot always count on a nice day to touch up your tan just before the big event. To ensure you have a glowing tan for the big day you have three options: tanning beds, spray tans or tanning lotion.

Tanning beds are the fastest most convenient way to get beautiful glowing skin. If you are new to tanning, don’t stay in for more than 8 minutes to prevent sun burning. The more you go the longer you can tan. Your tan progresses over time, so don’t over-do it at first – follow the advice of your tanning professional. The length of time you tan for also depends on the life of the light bulb. Newer bulbs send out stronger UV’s and cause you to tan more rapidly. Be careful because stronger bulbs increase your chance of sunburn. UV rays can also be harmful to your eyes so always bring or rent protective eye equipment.

Take off all your makeup before so your tan doesn’t turn out blotchy on your face. After your tan, you don’t need to take any precautions to preserve the tan because the UV rays penetrate many layers of skin. Exfoliating is suggested the day before your tan to help it last longer. The top layer of your skin is where your tan is most visible so don’t exfoliate or take a long bath afterwards. 

Tanning the day of or the day before the event is not suggested. Make sure you’ve tanned 3-5 times before the event for a noticeably healthy glow. Over tanning can give your skin an orange tinge so space it out! Always listen to the guidelines from the salon professionals for the best results. If you have any questions or concerns don’t be shy to ask until you feel comfortable in your decision to tan.

Pros:

  • Tanning beds help the body produce more Vitamin D that helps keep your bones, teeth, and joints healthy.
  • Reasonable cost
  • No preparation or preservation (unless you use the pre-tan lotions the salons sell)
  • Most salons allow for walk-ins so you can set your own schedule.

 Cons:

  • Tanning beds give off approximately three times the ultraviolet rays than the sun, thus significantly increasing your risk of skin cancer.
  •  If you have sensitive skin or a family history of skin cancer, tanning beds can be particularly dangerous.
  • Your skin can age rapidly if you use tanning beds for too long of a time period.

Spray Tans are offered through airbrushing or a mist chamber. To prevent the solution from entering into sensitive areas or from inhaling it, protection for your eyes, nose and mouth is a must! You may have to rent shields, but safe reputable salons will have them.

Exfoliate well the day before your tan, focusing on the tougher areas. For best results apply a scrub and hop in the shower with a wash cloth or loofah. Right before your tan, apply a barrier cream such as Vaseline on your hands, feet, elbows and knees to prevent the colour from "grabbing hold" of any dry areas and causing an uneven tan.

Not everyone will choose the right colour the first time. Participate in several trials to ensure you have the right colour for your hair and dress, have chosen a quality salon and don’t end up with a skin reaction. When choosing a colour, get the lightest shade possible so the focus is on your dress and not your skin. Stay away from the dark tans --  your tan should be translucent, adding only a "glow". Make sure you have it done in the same salon by the same technician, especially if you are having it airbrushed. Always stick to a colour you’ve previously tried for the big day to make sure you get what you were expecting.  

Pros:

  • The cost and effort to prep your skin is minimal when weighed with benefits of the tan.
  • Your tan will last about 7 days, but moisturizing every day will slightly extend it.
  • Streak and risk free

Cons:

  • The solution may cause irritation or allergic reactions.
  • Bronzer may stain a white or very light coloured dress throughout the night as you sweat. Look for a solution with very little to no bronzer.
  • Trials several weeks in advance to find your perfect colour may be timely and costly.
  • Wear loose, dark cloths and do not shower for at least 8 hours to allow the tan to develop.
  • Have the tan applied the day before or earlier – not the day of.
  • After the tan and upkeep:
    • Wear baggy pj’s to bed the first night to preserve your tan and protect your sheets. Note: silk sheets will stain.
    • Avoid soaking in the bath or swimming, this will cause your tan to fade quicker  
    • Moisturize every day, preferably twice to keep your skin and tan glowing

Self-tanning Lotions take time. Make sure you have enough time to complete the task before starting, a rush job can cause streaks and spots. Exfoliate well the day before your tan, focusing on the tougher areas. For best results use a scrub in the shower with a wash cloth or loofah. While you’re in there, make use of your shaver. Make sure you shave before applying lotion not after because it can remove some of the color. Shaving gets skin even smoother than exfoliating does. Together, they will help the tanning lotion spread on more smoothly and last longer.

Moisturize every day the week before you tan. Moisturizer prevents tanning lotion from soaking into skin in drier areas like the heels, ankles, tops of toes, knee caps and elbows. Don’t be stingy on the moisturizer! 8 hours after the tanner has been applied, moisturize your skin like an insane woman! Self tanner dehydrates your skin, so lots of lotion will make color last a lot longer and keep your skin looking healthier.

Pros:

  • You can control the intensity of your tan based on application frequency
  • Your tan will typically last 5-7 days, but using lots of lotion every day will push it for a few extra days and keep your skin hydrated, giving it an extra glow
  • Very cost effective and risk free
  • You can apply tanning lotion as frequently as you want, you control your results

Cons:

  • Time consuming process and subject to streaks
  • The solution may cause irritation or allergic reactions
  • Wait 15 minutes to get dressed so you don’t stain your clothes.
  • Wear loose, dark cloths and do not shower for at least 8 hours to allow the tan to develop.
  • After the tan and upkeep:
    • Wear baggy pj’s to bed the first night to preserve your tan and protect your sheets. Note: silk sheets will stain.
    • Avoid soaking in the bath or swimming, this will cause your tan to fade quicker
    • Moisturize every day, preferably twice to keep your skin and tan glowing

Tips for the Do-It-Yourself Girl:

  • Different directions blend best, use circular motions for streak free results.
  • Work your way up starting with your feet and legs to avoid bending during the drying process.
  • Apply to your face where the sun would naturally hit: nose, cheeks, chin and forehead, then blend outward.
  • Do not apply in your steamy bathroom. The heat and moisture can cause the lotion to melt and drip causing streaks. Wait until your body has cooled down to avoid the same affect.
  • Your knees, ankles and elbows are usually the first to show if you don’t apply the lotion correctly. Mix half self tanner and half moisturizer for a more natural look.
  • Wear gloves or very frequently rinse your hands in application, you don’t want orange palms.

Whichever way you plan on tanning before your big day, if at all, make sure it is the right choice for you. Don’t forget to account for time, before and after, cost, patience, salon options in your area, peeping neighbours and of course product options.  Happy tanning!

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