Spring break is right around the corner and it’s time for your skin to come out of hibernation. We love the look of natural, sun-kissed skin, but as everybody knows, the suns UV rays are far too damaging, and indoor-tanning is never an option.

Our solution: Self Tanners. It’s an easy way to achieve a totally safe and natural looking glow with out the burn.

Self-tanners have come a long way over the past few years, but there are still some basic rules to follow for creating a flawless look.

Exfoliate: Use a product that exfoliates your skin to ensure that the color goes on evenly. Self-tanners work best when you start off with a great foundation

Application: Apply self tanner like a moisturizer. You want an even coverage all around your body but go easy on elbows and heels. When applying to your face, make sure you go all the way up to your hairline. Also don’t forget those hard to reach places (like behind your knees!)

Wash Your Hands: Unless you are using a self-tanner wipe, you’re gonna have a lot of self-tanner on your palms- a place that should never have a tan. Don’t fret, just make sure you carefully wash the palms of your hands after you’ve applied the self- tanner to your body and face.

Start Slowly: Some self-tanners get darker with time, so make sure you don’t over-apply. Too dark or too orange is never a good look!

Not sure what products to try? Here are some of our favorites:

Lancôme Flash Bronzer: Elle magazine calls this gel self-tanner “beach vacation in a bottle” and “gives the best color year-round”. It goes on smoothly and lasts for days.

St. Tropez Everyday Airbrush Self-Tanner: This aerosol application is a beauty editor favorite. The spray allows you to get to those hard-to-reach places like your legs and back. Tip! Aerosol might not be the best bet for your face.

Jergens Natural Glow: This is bff’s #1 if you’re a beginner. This thick lotion offers a faint tint and allows you to build your tan through several applications until you are satisfied with shade.

Last, but not least….Play it safe: A self-tanner is not a replacement for SPF, so always remember to apply sunscreen

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