Spring break has come and gone. Sitting in lecture, people are either peeling or glowing from the sun exposure. However, not everyone is so lucky. For those of us who were limited to cold weather, but still want to achieve that perfect tan, there are a few options. Traditionally there were tanning beds and booths, but they’ve fallen from grace due to their direct links to skin cancers and melanoma. Now, there’s a new sheriff in town: the fake tan. We got the lowdown on where to find these alternatives and how to make them last, so you can make it seem like instead of spending all week in VP, you’ve been tanning on the shores of its distant cousin, PV. The two most popular methods for achieving this false glow are the professional spray tan, and the at–home self tan.
The Spray Tan
There is a lot of prep work involved with spray tans, but it has a great pay off. If you’re going to get a spray tan, it’s recommended that you shave or wax the day before. In order to ensure longevity of the spray tan, shower and exfoliate the morning of, so that the tan can adhere to the skin better. Maintenance is key: “The most important thing is moisturizing after you shower throughout [having the spray tan],” says Lizzi Powers (W ’18) on keeping a spray tan for longer. When going to get your tan, wear baggy, dark clothes; baggy to ensure that you don’t take the tan off before it sets, and dark to ensure that if a little bit does rub off, it doesn’t stain. Also important to note: you can’t shower until at least eight hours after the treatment. Additionally, avoid sweating to reduce the possibility of streaks (Ed. note: What an opportunity to excuse yourself from working out, guilt free.).
There are a lot of spray tan studios in Philadelphia, as well as salons that offer a spray tan service. One of the most popular studios is Sugared and Bronzed, because it's a national chain with locations in LA and New York, so you know what you are getting. Due to their formula and process, there's a very low risk of streaks or orange–looking skin. “Their color is really good,” says Lizzi. They also have waxing options, so you can get everything you need done there in one visit. Another perk is that they have the option for an express tan, which means that the set time is shorter than the typical eight hours. Not to mention, you might not even have to break the bank for their services: they offer a special for new customers, where you can get two tans for $39.
Other options in Philadelphia include Sun Myst ($45 for one session, $40 for first time clients) and Lacquer Lounge, which has a face–only spray tan option if you want to give your face a little sun–kiss.
The Self Tan
There are many different options out there for tanning at home, which means the choices can be overwhelming. Luckily, it also means that if one brand doesn’t do the trick for you, you’re very likely to find multiple others that do.
TanTowel is a brand of self tanner with a variety of tanning products, but their most popular is their tanning towelettes. These individually packaged towels require you to use a saturated towelette and literally just wipe your body all over to spread the tan on. This is a no–mess, easy–to–use self tanner that produces great results.
St.Tropez is another brand of self tanner that has a variety of products. Lizzi recommends the mousse, which she says is super easy to put on—the only way issues might occur is some human error. The mousse is applied using a mitt, and is just applied to the parts where you want to tan. The most difficult aspect, Lizzi states, is reaching your back, so she recommends asking a friend to help out. This tanner provides a very natural–looking tan that enhances your skin’s original color and is not streaky.
Jergen’s Natural Glow Moisturizer is also a popular option that is readily available at most drug stores. It runs for around $8 a bottle, so it's a cheaper option that's applied just like lotion. The only difference is that the change in pigment takes place over a longer period of time, roughly a week. Keep in mind, though, some people have found that the color comes out slightly orange or can turn their hands an odd color.
These options are great for daily use, or in a pinch before big events, such as formals or vacations.
“I think that it’s personal taste,” says Lizzi to those thinking about fake tanning. Although there is some trial and error in finding which sunless tanning solution is best for you, there are a variety of options. It comes down to which tan makes you feel best. Whatever you choose, may the fake sun gods be good to you, and shower you in spring break bronze.