Ever noticed how Miley Cyrus and your favorite celebrities and influencers manage to rock that sun-kissed, just-back-from-the-beach glow even in the dead of winter? Yeah, we’ve been wondering too. Turns out, maintaining a flawless bronze isn’t just about good genes; it's an art form.  
Miley Cyrus performing at the Grammys 
And that art form is called Self-Tan.

What is Self-Tan? 

Self-tan products, also known as self-tanners, offer a sunless solution to achieving a bronzed look without the exposure to harmful UV rays from the sun or tanning beds. These products contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a color additive that temporarily darkens the skin by reacting with amino acids on the skin's surface, creating a tan appearance.  

Self-tanners come in various forms such as lotions, mousses, sprays, and wipes, providing options for different skin types and preferences. The resulting tan typically develops over a few hours and can last several days, depending on the formulation and the user's skin care routine. Self-tanning is a safe alternative to traditional tanning methods, helping to avoid the risks associated with UV exposure such as premature aging and skin cancer. 

Guide to building a 6-step self-tanning routine  

  1. Before you even think about self-tanning, let’s talk exfoliation. Sloughing off those dead skin cells is key to avoiding patchy faux tans. Use a gentle body scrub or an exfoliating mitt a couple of times a week to keep your skin smooth and ready to soak up all that tanning goodness.  
  2. Hydration station: Hydrated skin is happy skin, especially when it comes to tanning. Moisturize daily with a rich lotion that doesn’t just sit on top of your skin but gets deep into those pores. This will help your tan apply more evenly and last longer.  
  3. The perfect fake tan: No UV rays required—grab a high-quality self-tanner. Mousse, lotion, spray? Pick your potion. Apply in sections (legs, torso, arms), and use a tanning mitt to get that expert blend. Don’t forget areas like your wrists and ankles for a seamless tan.  
  4. Gradual glow: For a low-maintenance approach, incorporate a gradual tanning lotion into your daily routine. These lotions give a subtle color that builds over time, perfect for keeping that glow without going full glam every day.  
  5. Maintenance mode: Extend the life of your tan with touch-ups using a gradual tanning lotion or bronzing mist. Stay hydrated, keep exfoliating, and your bronze will be the envy of everyone at your next gathering.  
  6. Now that you’ve got the tan, it’s time to highlight. Use a shimmering body oil or a highlighter on your cheekbones, collarbones, and shoulders to give your tan that extra pop. 

And remember, a good sunscreen is non-negotiable—even if you’re rocking faux glow, protecting your skin from the sun is a must. So, there you have it—your ticket to that all-year-round, Miley-worthy bronzed look. No sun required, just a little bit of prep and some clever tricks of the trade.