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"Exfoliating before self-tanning is essential, but using scrubs can cause minor abrasions," explains Veronique Munro, the founder and CEO of the sunless-tanning company Infinity Sun in West Hollywood. "When you apply self-tanner, the formula can seep into the little cuts and result in uneven color." Instead, Munro suggests washing with a nonabrasive chemical exfoliator like Infinity Sun Infinity Exfoliant ($35, shop.infinitysun.com), which she formulated with pineapple to speed up cell turnover. "Shave, wax, and get your mani and pedi before self-tanning; doing them after can cause streaks," advises Natalie Cupid, a manager and senior technician for Sundara Airbrush Tanning salon in New York City. "Remove deodorant, perfume, and makeup, because they can make the tanning agents turn green on your skin," adds Sophie Evans, a St. Tropez celebrity skin finisher. Apply a fragrance-free body moisturizer all over your elbows, knees, ankles, feet and hands, and the back of your wrists. "The skin on these spots is drier, so it can turn as many as seven shades darker if you don't moisturize it," Evans warns. "If you have any freckles or sun spots, dip a cotton swab in body lotion and dab it on these areas to create a barrier to prevent them from looking superdark," Munro says. Q-tips Precision Tip Purse Pack ($1 for 30, drugstores) gets the job done. "Spray aerosol deodorant on your nails and palms and the soles of your feet to prevent the tanning solution from sinking in," Munro says. Finally, choose an area with natural lighting and a full-length mirror.
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