How to Properly Moisturize Before Tanning

The summer months are upon us once again, or maybe you are preparing for that dreamed of beach vacation. Whatever your reasons are for wanting a great tan, it is important to know how to properly moisturize prior to exposing your skin to any type of tanning. Whether it be sun tanning, indoor bed tanning or spray tanning, a little bit of preparation will allow you to get that great tan while keeping your skin healthy.

If your skin is not moisturized, it is not only harder to get a tan, but it will also be more difficult to keep the tan. In fact, dry skin actually reflects ultra violet light, which reduces the effectiveness of tanning. Our skin does naturally flake off, but if you attempt to start tanning with already dry skin, the dryness will become worse and the tan you receive will tend to flake off with the skin. This will result in never being able to develop a nice, deep and natural looking tan.

You should moisturize before and after tanning. However, before you moisturize, you should first exfoliate. Taking a quick shower and using an exfoliating loofah over your body will leave your skin smooth and ready for moisture. Keeping your skin hydrated by moisturizing regularly will produce the best results. A lotion with a thicker consistency is recommended, although not too thick as to where is difficult to spread around the body.

Sun Tanning

During sun tanning, you should regularly apply a good SPF sunscreen. As the skin on your face is thin and sensitive, it is especially important to invest in a strong SPF lotion or moisturizer for your face. Also, don’t forget about your lips, and use a lip balm which contains SPF to protect them.

Indoor Tanning

For indoor tanning, there are indoor tanning lotions available that will not only protect your skin but also help your tan last longer and become darker. These sun tanning accelerator lotions work best when applied right before your tanning session. After your session, using a tan extender can help keep you moisturized, and is the surest way to keep your tan lasting longer. Regular sunscreen or outdoor tanning lotions should not be applied when using a tanning bed.

Spray Tanning

When spray tanning, it is necessary to keep in mind that you don’t want to moisturize too soon before applying the spray, as this can create a barrier which does not allow the active bronzing ingredient (DHA) to be absorbed. Therefore, you should not apply moisturizer for at least two hours before spray tanning. Areas to focus on when moisturizing are the hands, feet, elbows and knees, as the skin here tends to be thicker and drier. Also, moisturizing immediately after your spray tan may cause streaking, and it is recommended to wait between four and six hours after a spray tan to apply moisturizer. Certain lotions contain ingredients which may strip the tan from your skin and should be avoided. These ingredients include sodium laureth sulfate, mineral oil and petrolatum.

Before your next adventure in tanning, keep these healthy moisturizing tips in mind to get that great tan while keeping your skin healthy.