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The New Tanning Rules: A Guide to Self-Tanners

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The latest way to fake a bake: Goof-proof moisturizers that contain a small dose of that tan-in-a-bottle miracle, DHA. Plus, they provide other healthy-skin benefits, from firming to reducing stubble. Here, the only six tricks you need to get the perfect sun-kissed (not baked, broiled, or sauteed) glow with a fake tan.

1. Start with smooth skin

Buff dry patches in the shower with an exfoliating glove or a non-oil-based scrub (try Bella Bronze Sea Kelp & White Volcanics Scrub, $18, bellabronze.com). "Oil leaves a residue that prevents even absorption, no matter how well you blend," says Anna Stankiewicz, a skincare therapist at the Rita Hazan Salon in New York City who specializes in airbrush tanning. After towel-drying, prep drier areas (such as knees, elbows, ankles, and knuckles) with a body moisturizer like The Healing Garden Energy Therapy Antioxidant Body Lotion, $16.75, drugstores. "Parts that don't have many oil glands tend to be dry and grab most of the color," explains Stankiewicz.

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