Sun 101: Tanning

You asked and I delivered – SUN 101, your guide to preparation, protection, healthy tanning and after sun care. This is a series of articles where I write everything I know about sun products. I already talked about supplements and my favorite product that contain SPF, now I am following up with my all time favorite tanning products. Things I use I have been using forever and I swear by them, the list won’t be too long but it is 100% effective if used cautiously and it results in beautiful, goldeny and healthy tan.

Preparation For Tanning

Here she goes again – prep this, prep that. But it is the way it is, you need to prepare your skin for a healthy tan. That means, your skin needs to be hydrated and smooth in order to achieve that uniformed gold on your skin. First step preparing your skin from the inside with beta carotene and other supplements you can read all about in 1st Sun 101 article, here. I am being repetitive, but one of the few proverbs I remebered is “Repetitio est mater studiorum.”.

Scrub, Scrub, Scrub

You would scrub your skin before applying a self tanning product, no? So, why wouldn’t you apply before sunbathing? I am trying to do my scrub 2-4 times a month, if I feel the need to do it more often I will. Skin that is smooth, exfoliated and dead skin cells free will absorb the product better and will have more even tan as a finish.

There are a few things I do in order to exfoliate my skin:

  1. Dry Brushing Method – this is such a feel good ritual that should be done daily, massaging your skin for 3-5 minutes in circular motions. It can be done dry before shower or after shower, after you applied lotion or oil. This ritual not only gives you smooth and exfoliated skin, it has energizing and detoxifying qualities. It also helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite since it strengthens fascia after the longer period. I do this ritual as a part of my pampering routines here and there, therefore I don’t do it daily. I’ve found out that basically every brush works well.
  2. Coffee Scrub – good old recipe everyone knows works amazingly well for exfoliation of your skin and it smells like a morning. I do mine just by mixing 3 ingredients together – coffee, coconut oil and honey. Sometimes I will add cinnamon or different oil. Scrubbing with coffee can be messy, so make sure to do it in your bath/shower. This scrub also helps fighting the cellulite and it leaves your skin glowy, slightly tanned and your whole body is energized.
  3. L’Occitane Exfoliating Butter – is something I use more often than a regular scrub since this one offers a gentle exfoliation of the entire body, as it luxuriously melts into your skin. A delicious blend of almond butter and almond oil, infused with crushed almond shells and sugar crystals, effectively treat skin by eliminating dead cells and refining its texture – find it here. If I want to give my skin a bit deeper exfoliation I will use L’Occitane Crunchy Muesly Peeling, that happens to be my favorite store bought peeling so far.

Tried & Approved

This part should be called used & overused instead since I have been using most of the products here since I can remember. They are classics and I am not planning to substitute them soon. Yes, I love them this much.

L’Erbolario – Super Tanning Ointment

This product is my tanning secret, something that I have been purchasing over and over and over again. Carrot and walnut help your skin to develop an incredible golden glow faster, while aloe vera extract nourishes and protects hydro lipid layer of your skin and keeps your skin smooth. This product doesn’t contain any filters, so if you have fairer skin, you should protect your skin with SPF as well. My skin is naturally amber-toned and sun-friendly skin, so this brings out and boosts the colour of my skin beautifully. Another thing that I like about this classic is that this product isn’t messy. You know how sun ‘marmelades’ can be (like Biobaza for example) – you will end up wit having a greasy product on your bathing suit, under your nails, on your towel and it will smell funky. With this one – this is not the case as it smells really nice and leaves a shine and satin effect on your body, without being oily or greasy. Find it here.

Bronzao Au Cacao Classic

Oh, if something reminds me of my childhood, summer months and beach it is Bronzao Au Cacao that my mom (actually my whole family) would buy in Italy. Back in the 90s it was really hard to find this tanning butter in Croatia, and yet everyone was crazy about it because it gives you incredible, incredible tan. It is brick orange colored butter made with natural dyes, vegetable extracts and cocoa butter to ensure an optimal degree of hydration, softness and elasticity for skin. At also protects epidermis against the free radicals and anti ageing. The classic one is made for normal skin, that is not yet tanned, but I would always recommend using it with sunscreen as well. This product is a bit greasy but it doesn’t get everywhere like it’s younger and darker brother, therefore it is not messy. The only thing that gets messy is the packaging that is really unique. This product smells like beach in 90’s so amazing and the smell does get enhanced on the skin. Can you remember how Italians look on the beach – tanned and glowy? Well, this product gives you exactly that almost exotic effect. 

Bronzao Au Cacao Dark

This is the newer version of a Classic Bronzao Au Cacao and it is probably the product that gives you the fastest result and tan that lasts the longest. They have a really similar formula, except this one is darker in pigment and it is also supposed to be for a darker – amber or olive colored skin that doesn’t burn easily or for a skin that is already a bit tanned. This means it is a bit messier than the classic version and it will end up on your bathing suit (it is easily washable, no worries), but the smell is equally amazing. The only thing that I personally don’t like about these two is that I don’t like butter on my skin when it is really hot outside. I have a feeling it is even hotter then and like I am sweating even more. Even though I haven’t noticed any clogged pores after using them, I still wouldn’t use them on my face, just on my body. Also a minus, it is hard to find them and they get sold out so fast. I used to find them in a local cosmetic store and they are available in Douglas.

Skeyndor Bronze Plus Hydrant

Oh this is the product for all of you that absolutely hate any kind of greasy feeling on your skin. It is also for you that don’t enjoy massaging your skin a lot – this one is liquid, comes in a spray bottle and it is not greasy whatsoever. I love this product and I use it when I want to tan but I also want to feel refreshed. This huge (400ml) bottle gives you fast tan and soothing water offers the skin active and moistening substances (like Myo – Inositol), that skin needs to quickly develop a deep golden tan and remain hydrated during sun exposure. Since it doesn’t contain SPF, you should use it over a sunscreen or after you are already tanned. It is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic and it can be used on the face as well. This water can be used after the sun exposure as well, as it is deeply hydrating. Get it here!

What are your favorite tanning products and tanning accelerators? Let me know in the comments below.

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