By now, we all should know how terrible tanning beds are for your bod. Especially with Spring Break 2015 right around the corner, remember that you don’t need to lay in a tanning bed to look sexy in your sexy swimwear. The alarming reality is that you’re tripling your risk of melanoma (the most deadly type of skin cancer around) by fake baking. This is especially prevalent in younger teens looking for a summer glow year round. But have we all forgotten Tanning Mom? Let me refresh.

Good, I hope that helped to dissuade you from ever going back to a tanning bed ever again. Now we know the blustery days of winter are upon us, and many of you are looking to boost your complexion as well as your spirits, so let’s discuss some alternative options to glorify your glow this season.

Self-Tanners

Choosing the right self-tanner is extremely important. There’s a spectrum to which you will fall on the line of self-tanning end results. On one side you look like you’ve just spent the weekend on the beaches of Sardinia and on the other you look like this….

Self-tanning lotions come in a wide variety of skin shades as well as prices, so make sure you do some research before diving in. Find the right color to suit your skin tone and then take it from there. It isn’t going to be a drastic change overnight, but more of a gradual darkening of the skin. One important step is DO NOT DISREGARD THE INSTRUCTIONS! The last thing you want is to look splotchy or like you’re wearing brown mittens All. The. Time. Here are a few tips we can offer:

  1. Prep your skin by exfoliating the areas you want to use the tanner on and avoid scrubs that have oily residue since the oil makes the self-tanner harder to absorb into the skin.
  2. Use latex gloves in order to have a smooth and controllable applicator while also keeping your hands from staining. Make sure to start from the bottom up and have your hands be last.
  3. Wait as long as the packaging of your self-tanner tells you to in order to keep the product from staining your clothes and don’t take a shower for at least eight hours. Imagine putting on your caged swimwear too soon and having dreaded tan lines all over.
  4. Moisturize your skin every day in order to maintain your tan or the color will begin to flake off.

As an alternative to self-tanning lotions, tanning towels are much less messy and just as effective. These individually-wrapped towelettes are used once, and then tossed.

Natural Sunlight

Vitamin D for days. Sunlight emits 10 times fewer UV rays than tanning beds. You also have the option to slather on sunscreen. You may not get the deepest tan right away, but again, gradual and less harmful. Make sure you don’t abuse the sunlight and sit out unprotected. The recommended amount of higher SPF sunscreen to put on is about a shot glass full. So after you’re done throwing back that Sunday Funday tequila shot get to work.

Spray Tan

The best part about the spray tan is that it’s fast. A quick ten minute turnaround time and you’ll get an even tan that’ll last about 1-2 weeks. For those who are new to this, the entire process begins with a light mist being sprayed over your body. This allows for an extremely smooth finish rather than any streaks. You can have a year-round tan without the risk of sunburn or any of the dangerous UV rays. The best part about a spray tan is that you can have a full fan without those ugly tan lines. Make sure you have your Brazilian bikini bottoms ready, because you’re gonna need them!

Bronzer

Bronzer is a great way to give you that quick sun-kissed glow without all the premature aging caused by a tanning bed. Bronzers come in a variety of forms – powders, liquids, creams, or gels. Make sure you find the right one to match your skin complexion. But beware, you don’t want to overload your face with a bronzer trying to achieve an extreme tan and end up scaring little kids on the street. Apply lightly and work from there. Let dry completely! You don’t need to stain your monokini just because of impatience. If you need extra tips on which bronzer is right for you, simply ask the woman at the cosmetics counter who probably just tried spraying you with perfume anyway.

Any other tips, feel free to share below.

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