In high school, going to tanning beds with the thing to do. As a hopeless follower, I started frequenting a seedy joint attached to a gas station (red flag!). I would overdo it under the bright bulbs and burn, only to try again a few weeks later. Smart, right? Fortunately, I was a was a broke teenager and couldn’t keep up the cancer-causing habit. If you’re ready to get your glow on for summer, skip the tanning beds and go for a self-tanner.
I’m still a Jergens fan (call me crazy, but I love the smell). Before you apply, you gotta exfoliate. By removing the layer of dead skin cells, you’ll self-tan more easily and evenly. And here’s an important tip – you need a scrub that’s not oil based before applying self tanner. Normally you want the extra moisture, but for self-tanning you don’t want a barrier between your skin and the tanner.
Oil- Free Pre-Tan Scrub
I found this recipe from the creator of Pur-Lisse skin care in an old issue of Real Simple. It’s a perfect pre-tan body polish and face scrub (plus it tastes amazing). The texture of the ground rice is nice and gentle, and next time I might switch out the brown sugar for fresh coffee grounds for a bit of cellulite reduction.
Store it in a closed jar and you can get 2 applications out of it. Refrigerate the leftovers and use once a week during self-tan season.
Pina Colada Pre-Tan Scrub
- 1/2 cup ground rice
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated ginger
- Grind the rice in a coffee grinder or food processor.
- Combine rice with coconut milk, brown sugar and ginger.
- Stir together until you get a thick paste.
- Apply over entire body, working in circular motions from the feet up.
- Rinse in the shower.
- Apply self-tanning moisturizer.
Pina Colada Age Spot Mask
If you’re a reformed tanning bed user like me, you probably have sun damage on your face. Pineapple is a tasty choice for battling age spots or red blotchiness. It’s high in vitamin C and the enzyme bromelain, which acts as an exfoliant. Combined with a bit of leftover coconut milk, pineapple makes a natural AHA face mask for reducing the appearance of lines and spots while giving your skin a nice glow (plus it feels really good and tingly).
Pineapple AHA mask
Combine 1/4 cup chopped fresh pineapple (you can also used canned pineapple) with 1 tablespoon of coconut milk. Apply evenly over your face, neck and chest and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse, pat dry and slather on moisturizer.
Don’t over do it with a mask like this – once a week is plenty. And since you are removing a layer of dead skin cells you might be extra sensitive to sun so be sure to apply SPF.
Post by Stephanie Gerber, Photos by Lindsey Johnson33