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Perfect your at-home sunless tan

Jennifer Aniston sports a healthy glow
Photo by Jag Gundu/Getty Images

Do people even go to tanning beds anymore? Surely not, with all the well-documented medical and academic literature speaking to the dangers of excessive UV exposure. But, it is summertime and while you are excited to wear shorts and crop tops, you are probably looking to enhance your glow. The good news is there are a plethora of at-home sunless options to help you fake it without risking the health of your skin.

A few tips for at-home application:

• Start with a quality product like Neutrogena’s Micro-Mist Airbrush Sunless Tan Spray. This affordable, easy to use aerosol, when applied correctly, creates an even, natural looking tan. Clarins, Estée Lauder and Jergens also have excellent sunless tanning products at a variety of price points.

• Don’t get ahead of yourself. If your legs haven’t seen the light of day in six months, don’t go for the level 3, extra dark formula. Instead build your faux tan over time, beginning with a product that is just a few shades darker than your natural skin tone.

• Proper exfoliation cannot only decrease the appearance of certain skin imperfections (read: cellulite) it can also help you achieve a more even tan. Tanning products can cling to dry skin, creating unsightly patches of color. Rid the body of dry skin cells to create a more consistent color.

• Lighting is important when applying self tanner. The last thing you want is get out in the sun and see you’ve missed a few spots . . .or overdid it. Be sure your application location has enough light to let you see what you are doing. Natural light is ideal.

• Be sure to read the instructions carefully, and let the product dry thoroughly to prevent transfer to clothing. Use a cotton ball to blend product on wrists, ankles, knees and elbows to create a natural finish.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Perfecting the at-home tan takes practice, patience and a little trial and error. Selecting the right shade, prepping skin properly and building your color gradually will likely increase your odds of success and eliminate even the thought of visiting a tanning bed. Seriously, who does that nowadays?

Happy summer!