by Christina

Though the temps have began to rise here in LA, I find myself unable to find the time to lay out and get my summer bronze on. Work, Meetings and other life commitments have gotten in the way recently (How dare they!) which has left me frustrated and more importantly pasty. So what's a busy working girl to do? I grabbed my favorite body scrub and sunless bronzer and got my faux glow on!

To me, scrubs and bronzing go hand and hand. If you are looking to achieve a smooth, natural self tanner application then you must be sure to exfoliate ahead of time. Dry dead skin can make the faux tan appear patchy and rough (same goes for exfoliating your face and the application of foundation!) which is never a good look.

Let's break down proper exfoliation: Step into your shower, shampoo/condition your hair first allowing the steam to loosen up all of those rough patches on the skin. Next up, apply your favorite body scrub beginning at the arms and working your way down. Exfoliate each area of the body for a minimum of two minutes, then move on to the next area. Rinse, then wash with your favorite body soap. You want to make sure you any access oils from your body scrub are not present on the body after exfoliation, Oils such as coconut and shea butter can actually cause your tan to streak and not develop correctly. Please note, using a loofah or other exfoliating brush with your body scrub may actually be more irritating to skin then assisting. One or the other should do the job just fine.

Once your out of the shower, dry off and skip the body lotion...remember, no oils on the body! Begin to apply your self tanner starting from the bottom-up. Whether the product is a mousse, gel or lotion be sure to use the "less is more" rule when applying. Many products need time to develop, if you glob on the product you may not have the best results color wise. If your not satisfied with the color application, You can always add another coat. Too much color? Try baby oil on the skin then a hot shower to remove the tan fully.

The process may sound a bit much, but keep in mind a great self tanning product can give you color results for up to a week when applied correctly! Stay tuned for tomorrow's post on my top picks for sunless tanner.