Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shorts. Tank Top. Fake Tan. Check, check, check.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have read that I have been lamenting recently about my inability to use self-tanners because of severe breakouts. I still don't know why every one I've ever tried makes me break out on only my face, neck, upper chest and back, but it's the ugliest and most painful version of the cystic acne I've struggled with for years. And it scars - so I have to be extremely careful.

I am so bright white and I crave color. While I used to be able to tan as a child - my school pictures from grade school, which were taken in early September always showed me with a golden tan from spending nearly every day at the pool - I seem to have lost the ability to tan naturally. I don't even tan when using tanning beds, which I won't use nowadays anyway (and I honestly miss the "ultraviolet coffin"). I don't burn either, which is just bizarre. I just get warm-colored freckles over the bridge of my nose. That's how you know I've been out in the sun. I start morphing into the Wendy's girl. (Good thing my hair isn't red!)

A medium tan on me looks like most other people's pale winter skin tone. So all I can do is use self-tanners to get some color.

Spray tans are great too, and I will get them for special occasions or vacations. But they fade quickly and I just find them to be a pain. I like to control when and where I put on my tan. Here's how I do it.


I make my own sugar scrub. Just use about half a cup of table sugar and a tablespoon or so of olive oil, mix it into a paste and take it into the shower. Just try not to get it wet until you scrub your skin with it. You want it to stay thick and paste-like. A harsher version of this is to use coarse kosher salt in lieu of sugar. They both work - it just depends on the amount of exfoliating you want to do.


Since my appendages don't break out, I'm using L'Oreal's Sublime Bronze Pro Perfect Airbrush self-tanner in Medium.

No, it's not an air horn.
You can layer this product several times over a few hours to get a nice base tan. I had been using the Sublime Bronze towelettes, but this is the same price and I feel like you receive about four times more product. Also - and this is IMPORTANT - you don't have to rub it in, it evenly covers the tops of my hands and feet (which streak like crazy!!!) and doesn't settle into dry skin. We all have that skin (ankles, elbows and knees) which collects self-tanner and stains for a long time, regardless of how well it's exfoliated. I've made some wild and unattractive streak patterns in the past while trying to avoid those areas.

Also, it claims a "fresh citrus scent." I've never encountered any type of citrus that smell this this, but it's a better scent than any other self-tanner I've ever used.


For my sensitive, acne-prone areas, Clarins Self-Tanning Milk is gentle and hasn't caused breakouts. (Thanks, @reinhoren!)

The color blends nicely with my arms and legs, is able to be layered to obtain a lovely, golden shade, and also smells better than other self-tanners (yay!).

So that's how I'm spending my summer in shorts, tanks, sundresses and faking a tan. I feel like I can finally participate in summer again!

No comments: