05/18/2016 10:50 EDT | Updated 05/19/2017 05:12 EDT

Top Tips For Self-Tanning And Laser Hair Removal

Many women apply self-tanner with their hands, but the palms of the hands are never an area that receives a natural tan. Always use a mitt to avoid having product developing in this area.

I have always loved having a bit of colour during the summer months. Self-tanners have come a long way and really improved in the past five years or so. Now, you can have a real looking tan without the damage from the sun.

Of course, the other part to looking great in the summer is having smooth skin. To find out the latest in laser hair removal, I spoke with Lauren Henderson, Senior Marketing Director of Anti-Aging and Acne. Lauren provided the top tips for laser hair removal.

Top tips for laser hair removal

When using a laser hair removal system, always prep the skin before each treatment by cleansing, shaving and drying the desired treatment area. You should also stop waxing or plucking hair six weeks before your treatment.

At least one day before treatment, test the hair removal system on a patch of skin and try different energy levels.

Be consistent and follow treatment instructions. For best results, treat every two weeks for up to three months or until you see the desired results. Between treatments, one should shave hair vs. waxing or plucking.

When using a laser, lift the laser and place it back on the skin so that it overlaps the previous spot. This creates an overlapping pattern in the treatment area to ensure all hair follicles are covered.

What do most people do wrong with hair removal?

Do not use a laser hair removal system if you have lighter hair color, such as blonde, white, red or grey. In order for the laser to work, you must have naturally dark hair where you are treating. Lighter hair pigments will not absorb enough of the laser's energy to disable the hair follicle.

To find out the top tips on how to use self-tanners and get the best glow, I spoke with Alyson Hogg, Founder and CEO, Vita Liberata.

Alyson shared with me the latest innovations and trends for self-tanning.

The five best tips for self-tanning

Prep the skin by eating lots of fruit and vegetables. Drink lots of water, exfoliate and moisturizer the skin with a gentle scrubby brush.

Circular motions are usually best when applying a self tanner. You don't need to rub it in. You aren't a piece of furniture! The actives will naturally absorb in contact.

For creases in areas such as the elbows and knees, if these areas are very dry apply moisturizer and allow to absorb for at least an hour before tanning. And of course always wipe knuckles, knees and the back of the hands lightly with a damp wash cloth or wet wipe after applying the tan to ensure the most natural looking tan. The skin on these areas is drier and can result in a darker fade if you don't dab them after.

If you don't have a tanning mitt on hand, you can use a large makeup brush (foundation brushes, kabuki brushes) to apply.

Apply evenly. "I use a tanning mitt and always start on my face first taking the product down and then blending the body tan with it. Arms, chest and legs follow, but save the feet and hands for last. You want as little product on the mitt as possible for the most realistic results."

What do most people do wrong with self-tanners?

Always exfoliate and, if you need to, shave and do so at least four hours prior to applying self-tanning products to create a beautiful smooth skin canvas.

Additionally, many women apply self-tanner with their hands, but the palms of the hands are never an area that receives a natural tan. Always use a mitt to avoid having product developing in this area.

How to preserve your self-tan?

Maintain your tan by moisturizing twice daily and avoid shaving and waxing. Don't use shower gels or moisturizers that contain essential oils as these oils can strip the tan, reducing the length of time you get out of it. For an extra tan boost, a lotion with a gradual build tan effect is a great option to top up your colour after a few days.

I will be thinking about all of these self-tanning tips as I continue to expand my summer beauty regime. Your suggestions are always welcome as I continue on my journey to live life to the fullest. Let's have the very best 2016!

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