Rules to bronze by

July 03, 2004|By ANDREA ROWLAND

I was so eager to look like Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen (even if only skin-deep) that I wasn't fazed by Brazil Glow Bar's two-page list of pre- and post-airbrush tanning session instructions, including:

  • Shave and/or wax excess body hair just prior to "tanning."

  • Avoid using makeup, oily exfoliates and moisturizers before the session. (These products can block the tanning solution from entering pores.)

  • Wear dark, loose fitting, cotton clothes home from the session. (Spray tint stains leather and nylon, but washes out of cotton.)

  • Cover leather car seats. (Same reason.)

  • Wait 12 hours before showering after getting sprayed. (It takes about half a day for the active ingredient in the tanning solution, dihidroxyacetone, to completely react with amino acids in the skin to make the skin's upper layers turn brown.)

  • Use a sharp razor to avoid scraping off your tan.

  • Avoid adhesive bandages and anything else that might pull off the tan when removed.

Natural exfoliation causes the "tan" to fade in an average of five to seven days. Soaking in a hot tub and breaking other sunless tanning rules can accelerate the fade, while using lots of moisturizer and following other suggested tan-preserving guidelines can stretch the tan's duration.

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