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Try a self-tanner for a safe alternative to the dangers of sun-worshiping. Today's self-tanners go on smoothly and applying self-tanners to achieve a natural looking tan is a lot easier than you think.

The first step to a natural tan is to exfoliate well. While in the shower, scrub areas to be tanned with a washcloth or an exfoliating scrub to remove dead skin. Once you've dried off, apply a little moisturizer to areas that you don't want the tanner to stick to as heartily. Because the skin on your knees and elbows is thicker than elsewhere on your body, they tend to become darker when self-tanner is applied; be sure to dab some moisturizer on these areas first to limit the amount of tanner than soaks in.

Surgical gloves will prevent your hands from becoming stained by the tanner, a tell-tale sign that your tan is fake. Squirt a quarter-size amount of tanner into your palm, rub your hands together to distribute tanner to both hands, then start at tops of feet and work your way up your legs. Apply the tanner in upward strokes and be careful not to miss any spots.

Save your knees elbows for when your palms are nearly out of tanner. Bend your joints when applying tanner to knees and elbows to avoid any white creases. Go over your joints with a tissue afterwards to blot and remove any excess tanner.

When you're done, sit still (very carefully!) and wait to dry for at least 20 minutes. Once you're dry, put on loose dark clothes that you don't mind getting stained. Wait at least an hour (preferably longer) before wearing tighter clothes. Your tan will appear in 3-4 hours. If it's not as dark as you'd like, repeat the application process. Any streaks that you find can be removed with cotton ball soaked in astringent.

To maintain your tan, be sure to moisturize twice a day. After washing, be careful not to rub too hard or you'll rub away your tan!