You hear it nearly everyday growing up. You attend classes in school on the subject, watch videos and PSA’s; maybe in the 70’s it was only for sailors going from port to port, but this is 2013 and I’m talking about protection. You’d think with all the potential dangers, sob stories and warnings I would’ve listened; but I thought the recommendations over-protective and I didn’t want to pay the measly 8 bucks. I’ll be fine without it. I thought. The next morning I awoke to green hands and a heavy heart. I tried to ignore the problem and act as though nothing was out of the ordinary. But I couldn’t avoid the judging stares of others, the questions asked by friends, “Oh my God, what happened to your hands!?” and the awkward end to a date that had made it all the way back to my place…”Umm…are your hands…green? Oh I just remembered I’ve got an early meeting in the morning. Gotta go!” I deeply regretted not buying that stupid glove. So now I speak to you as just another fool who realized all too late that using protection is no joke.
Despite what ideas you may have in your mind, I’m speaking of course about self-tanning protection – this is after all a beauty blog. As I’ve mentioned in the past, life in New York City forced me to give up my beloved VersaSpa spray tan for the more archaic self-application. Naturally I gravitated towards the unanimous favorite of the beauty community – St. Tropez. As I perused the products at my local Sephora I picked up the St. Tropez tanning glove to see what it was all about. Give me a break, I’m not spending $8 on some crappy foam glove – they are getting $60 out of me as it is! I thought, righteously. Was I aware that the St. Tropez tanning foam comes out of the container green (or brown depending on the formula you use)? Yes. Was I also aware that tanning formulas are intended to stain skin? Absolutely. The knowledge of these facts made me a more intelligent customer; however, a more intelligent customer would’ve opted for the protection. I did not.
Back at home I applied the formula – with my bare hands and following the application did everything short of shave off the top layer of my palms in order to restore their natural color. When I awoke the next morning my hands were greener than the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz (old version). As time passed I tried different methods – washing my hands a minimum of three times during application, not using my hands and rubbing in the solution with other parts of my body – I became a regular tanning MacGyver, only my lack of success was more MacGruber (SNL sketch). I could find no method that would keep the green off my hands and my soap consumption was through the roof. It wasn’t until last week that I ventured back to the St. Tropez section of Sephora and admitted I was wrong. I happily spent the $8 on the glove and went home hoping it wouldn’t fail me.
I am both surprised and happy to report that using protection actually worked better than using my own two hands. While the glove looks ridiculous, seems delicate as though it might tear easily and appears difficult to maneuver unlike your bare hands, don’t get discouraged. After a few pumps of the solution directly on your skin you simply rub it in with the glove wearing hand. You will be shocked by the ease with which the foam will be evenly applied to your skin – something about the glove enables it to soak in like a second skin. Obviously the greatest benefit of the glove is the prevention of green hands and when you’re finished applying and remove the protection, you’ll be elated to see your hands remain in their natural state.
Personally, I am not a fan of self-tanning but I know the dangers of sun-exposure and refuse to walk this earth in my natural paleness, thus St. Tropez is a necessary evil. Having tried the foam both with and without protection, I can say green hands down that it’s 100% better with. The glove almost made me enjoy self-tanning…almost. Hopefully none of you are as loose as me when it comes to product protection but if you are, just remember if you like it then you shoulda put a glove on it.