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A new generation of women are rising up and redefining beauty in regards to sunbathing. Sunbathing may cause more than twice as many life-threatening cancers as previously suspected, scientists disclosed yesterday. Our propensity to toast ourselves on the beach could be linked with the 40 per cent rise in the blood cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as well as the increase in skin cancer.

Wow. That gives you something to think about, doesn’t it? I copied that from someone’s Facebook status, I didn’t write it. I’m not here to preach about skin cancer or anything like that; I’m not a doctor and I don’t like discussing disease.  But, it got me thinking about the lengths we will go for some color on our skin. How many of you out there are still using tanning beds? Shame on you! How many of you will go in the sun for hours at a time and either fail to reapply your sunscreen, or you just don’t bother with it in the first place? Don’t even get me started…I hope you’re enjoying your peeling skin right about now…you know who you are! Yes, I understand we don’t want to look pale and translucent. A little color on the skin can make a huge difference in our appearance, but let’s do this right.

Self tanning products are everywhere now. They come in so many ways of delivery, too. Gel, lotion, mousse, tan towels, spray, etc. And of course, there’s the every day lotion that gradually darkens your skin over time and claims to not streak. I think that’s the biggest fear people have when they think of self tanning. I know it took me a long time to get it right. I still sometimes mess it up. There are tons of brands to choose from, but the most important thing of all is learning how to apply, and what steps you need to take to prep the skin.

Just like it takes time to lay out in the sun and willingly fry your skin, it takes time to apply self tanner and get your skin ready. You want to make sure you start exfoliating your body a few days before you are going to apply your tanning product. This is a very important step, because your skin has build up of dead skin cells and the thicker the layer of build up, the faster the product will rub off. By getting rid of that layer, the tanning product will last longer and will apply more evenly.

Where to start? First, to avoid discoloration around your fingernails and cuticles, apply some vaseline to this area. This will create a barrier between your skin and the product, and prevent your nails from getting stained…saving your mani in the process! Or grab some latex gloves to save your hands and nails. The process of applying self tanner is pretty much like applying body lotion, you just have to do it slower and make sure all areas are getting covered. Most people like to start with their legs and then work on the arms, and finish with the torso and the back. A great tip I picked up is, when applying keep your fingers tightly together. If your fingers are separated, it can cause streaking. Apply using circular motions for an even application. Ease up on the product around tough spots like knees and elbows. Wait for the product to dry! If you get dressed right away without all of the tanning product absorbing, you risk streaking. You don’t want all your hard work ruined.

Afraid to do it yourself? Try a tanning salon. Not the beds! Please, please, please stop using the beds! A lot of tanning salons are now offering the spray tan. Sometimes it’s just worth the price to have someone else, or a machine, do the work for you.

What are your favorite self tanning products? Do you get spray tanning done, or are you still using the beds? What method do you prefer your self tanner to be? Lotion, gel, mousse or tanning towels? As always, I’m looking forward to your response.

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday at

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