If you (like us!) believe in the concept of Endless Summer, shorter days can bring a sense of doom. Extending your tan for as long as possible helps you keep the faith. But the truth is, the only way to keep your skin glowing for life is to stop tanning right now, and forever.
It’s not easy giving up the tan look. Most people enjoy looking as if they just returned from vacationing in the Mediterranean or lazing on a long afternoon sail. In fact, we can blame a century of tanning obsession on Coco Chanel doing just that. Throughout most of modern history, people avoided the sun with hats, gloves, high necks and long sleeves. But in 1923, the French icon was photographed leaving a yacht with an accidental sunburn after cruising from Paris to Cannes. The press assumed she was, as usual, making a fashion statement. Soon women in Europe and America all wanted a “suntan.”
But hopefully everyone knows by now that there is no such thing as a healthy tan. To get a sun-kissed glow — all year round — there’s only one safe way to do it: sunless tanner. It’s the safer summer glow that helps keep premature aging at bay while maintaining the look you like. Sunless tanner works by temporarily staining the outermost layer of your skin to give the appearance of a tan. Remember, we are talking about the look of a sun-kissed glow, not the real thing.
Rodan + Fields ESSENTIALS Foaming Sunless Tan is a self-tanner that provides natural-looking color without the UV exposure. To apply it, first exfoliate all over with Micro-Dermabrasion Paste. Then fully hydrate and moisturize knees and elbows and any other extra-dry areas with Active Hydration Body Replenish. These two steps ensure that the product won’t be overly absorbed into the dry surface skin on your body, so the result will be an even application and glow.
Next apply the self-tanner. Because Rodan + Fields self-tanner is foam-based, you’ll get a more even application than you would with a spray. You can use an old washcloth to lightly blend in excess product, and a bit of nail polish remover to remove any streaks if you make a mistake. Wash your hands after use so your palms don’t tan, and let your body dry completely before putting on clothes. Color begins to develop in two to four hours.
To make your faux-glow last longer, it’s extra important to keep skin moisturized with Active Hydration Body Replenish in the days after application.
And don’t forget the SPF! Sunless tanner does NOT protect skin from the sun, so use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen religiously. (A quick review: UVAs are the “aging” rays that cause damage over time, and UVBs are the “burning” rays that create painful sunburns. Both can lead to skin cancer.)
Pro tip: If you just want a little color on your face that you can wash off at the end of the day, try our tinted Radiant Defense Perfecting Liquid in a shade one level darker than your natural skin tone. And this product does contain SPF to help protect your face from the sun. Too bad Coco didn’t have any with her on the boat that day.