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How to Get a Healthy Tan

FITNESS beauty editors show you how to get a good tan from a self-tanner.

-Hi I'm Leah Wyar the beauty director at FITNESS magazine. -I'm Ayren Jackson Kennedy the associate beauty editor at FITNESS magazine -and this is an episode of pretty fit tips. At FITNESS, we believe the only healthy tan comes from a bottle. And there are three things you need to remember to get the most perfect, beautiful, natural-looking tan. The first thing is exfoliating. The reason a self-tanner makes you bronze is because it contains an active ingredient called DHA which attaches to the dead skin cells on top of your skin and oxidizes. And in order for that to happen in the most natural way, you have to have a very level layer of dead skin cells. So when you exfoliate, it's important to use an exfoliator that does not contain oil because oil can leave behind a barrier on your skin that prevents that active ingredient from attaching to your skin. So look at your ingredient list on your exfoliator and make sure it does not contain oil. The other alternative is to use a scrub like a loofah and rub it across your skin in a downward motion to get rid of all the dead skin cells. And the cheapest way of all to exfoliate is by mixing something in your own kitchen. And Ayren has a great way to do that. -Right. At home you can go into your kitchen, go into the cupboard, grab a handful of sugar or coffee grinds which we have here. And drip a little bit of water until the coffee grinds are the consistency of wet sand. And this is what you will use to scrub your skin in the shower before you put on your self-tanner. It's easy, it's cheap. -Pennies. -Pennies, exactly. -So now that your skin is scrubbed, the second step is applying lotion to certain areas that are really, really rough. Areas like your elbows, your knees, the cuticles around your fingers and toes. All those areas are dry and full of dead skin cells; and, of course, the DHA in the self-tanner is going to suck into those areas and really make them discolored and darker than the rest of your body. So you want to put in a barrier of lotion on those areas so that they apply in the most natural way. So you take a little bit of lotion such as this one and then you put it on those areas that are rough and let it sit. And don't rub it in because that will prevent that extra self-tanner from settling into those areas and making them really splotchy and giving you extra color there which does not look pretty. Once you've moisturized, the last step is to apply the self-tanner. You can use any formula that you like, a gel, a cream, whatever; and you just apply it in a circular motion which is going to prevent streaks because if you apply it in a parallel motion, that's how you get those streaks. Now, the back is a very difficult place to apply self-tanner when you don't have a friend, but Ayren has a really great tip that she learned recently from a makeup artist. -Right. So, again, go back to your kitchen. Grab some plastic wrap. Pull out 3 to 4 feet of it. Spray your self-tanner on it or smear the cream tanner on it. And then you put it on your back and you apply it like you're drying off your back with a towel. It works every time. You get your whole back and it's cheap, again. -Some of the most popular types of self-tanners right now come in aerosol form, just like spray paint cans. And the trick to making them look really natural on your skin is by practicing first on a piece of paper. So if you take a piece of white paper and you spray the tanner onto it, you'll get the feel of how fast the product is going to come out on your skin so that you don't make a mistake when you're actually spraying it on your body. Once you get the feel for it on a piece of paper, you're ready to graduate to your skin. And the best thing you can do is apply it in a circular motion and keep moving. Because, if you rest in one area, you'll get a similar effect of spray paint, which is applying too much color to one area and its not gonna look so natural. That's it for this segment; stay tuned for another episode of pretty fit tips.