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    Tips for Self-Tanning for People who are Fair Skinned

    We always want what we don’t have. Short people want to be taller, brunettes want to be blondes and people with fair skin want to appear tanned. However, the use of tanning beds can be dangerous for fair skinned people, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Self-tanning methodsare far safer for people with fair skin, providing a natural-looking tan without the risks associated with sun exposure.

    Choosing the Right Sunless Tanning Method for Fair Skin

    Short of baking in the sun or in a tanning bed, activities that increase your risk of developing skin cancer, there are two self-tanning options for fair skinned people who want to achieve a healthy glow:

    Sunless Spray Tanning

    Many dermatologists believe that sunless spray tanning is the safest self-tanning alternative for people with fair skin. Sunless spray tanning involves the application of an agent (DHA, or dihydroxyacetone) to the skin using a misting method or airbrushing to give you the natural tanned appearance you desire. The advantages of sunless spray tanning for fair skinned people include:

    • It is fast
    • It is painless
    • It is safe
    • It provides you with an even, streak-free tan

    You should wear goggles and remember to keep your mouth closed while using this method of self-tanning, as well as refrain from inhaling while the solution is being applied. This is to protect the delicate mucous membranes that may be irritated by the chemical. Afterwards, you should refrain from showering, bathing or going in a pool or sauna for several hours to allow your tan to set.

    Sunless Tanning Lotions

    Sunless tanning lotions are another great self-tanning alternative for fair skinned people who want to achieve a natural appearing tan. In the past, sunless tanning lotions got a bad rap as they had a tendency to turn the skin an unflattering shade of orange; however, the science behind sunless tanning lotions has come a long way, and sunless tanning lotions are now used by millions of pale individuals who wish to get a tan without risking skin cancer.

    Sunless tanning lotions come in a variety of shades and tones. It is important to choose a shade that will compliment your skin tone. You should test a small amount of product on an area of skin that is relatively hidden from view to test the shade and to ensure that you won’t react negatively to any of the ingredients contained in the lotion. People who are very pale should choose a product with very little DHA to start. The self-tanning lotion should be applied evenly and smoothly. It may be worthwhile to have someone help you with applying the self-tanning lotion to tricky areas.

    Preparing Your Skin for Sunless Tanning

    Before you utilize a self-tanning method, you will need to prepare your skin, beginning at least two days before:

    • Shave- shave any unwanted hair before self-tanning so that skin is smooth and stubble-free
    • Exfoliate- get rid of dead skin before applying a self-tanning method
    • Moisturize- this is the most important step; pay close attention to rough areas (elbows, knees) so that color does not accumulate excessively in these areas.

    Caring for Your Tan

    Keeping your skin moist following the application of a self-tanning method is the most important thing you can do to maintain your tan. Apply a moisturizer to your skin when it is damp, such as right after a shower, to enable the moisturizer to penetrate your skin.

    Fair skinned individuals who desire a tan but wish to avoid the risks associated with tanning outdoors or in a tanning bed have other options available to give them a natural looking tan. Spray tanning and sunless tanning lotions are safe and effective self-tanning alternatives and will provide great results.

    Summary: Self-tanning is an option available to fair skinned people who want to achieve a healthy-looking glow without risking their health.