Confessions of a Dermatologist

April 7, 2010 at 7:12 pm 5 comments


By Dr. Katie Rodan

Dr. Fields and I will be the first to tell you to run from the sun. That natural, sun-kissed glow may be pretty but it is hardly worth the risks of skin cancer, brown spots and accelerated aging. Just because I slather myself in sunscreen, hide under a huge hat and sport sunglasses so large they cover half my face doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned my Southern California beach babe roots in favor of a pasty white, librarian-like complexion. I want it all—especially when it comes to my skin. So here’s how I have learned to fake it:

First: Prep your skin by exfoliating: Before applying a self-tanning lotion, I scrub away dead, dry, scaly skin on my legs, chest and arms with a gentle micro-dermabrasion stick. And for a two-for-one benefit, I leave the micro-dermabrasion product on my legs for an even closer shave and enhanced exfoliation in one fell swoop. Smooth, freshly shaved and exfoliated skin ensures a uniform application of the self-tanning product.

Second: Moisturize the driest areas over your joints: Apply a thick coat of your favorite body lotion over the elbows, ankles and knees to prevent a concentrated uptake of the self tanner in areas where the skin is thickest.

Third: Apply a gradual self-tanning moisturizer for a more natural, and streak-free glow. My favorites are made by Jergens and Dove which are lightweight, full of good moisturizers and don’t smell like your average self-tanner.

These are my best tips, what are yours?

Skin is a beautiful thing … wear it well.

Entry filed under: Confessions of a Dermatologist. Tags: .

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5 Comments

  • 1. Kathe Reischman  |  April 8, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Thanks for your always helpful tips…loving them and living by them!

    On self tanning, there is a product called TanTowels and you can purchase online. These are individually wrapped towelettes (similar in size to Anti-Age Eye Makeup Remover) that goes on very evenly with less odor of self tanners and best results I’ve found so far!

    Micro-Dermabrasion paste is fabulous for exfoliating areas to be tanned!!

  • 2. Nancy  |  April 7, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Moisturize yes! I like “tan towels” if one uses the regular and not the dark, you get the same gradual effect. Jergens and Dove have ingredients that irritate my skin, and due to the VERY dry nature of my skin, they don’t offer enough moisture. When the self tanner is completely dry, I moisturize over it. It takes color a while longer this way, but it works.
    I love the suggestion of leaving your body microderm stick on while you shave! Great idea and I can’t wait to try it in the morning! Thank You

  • 3. Tami Ross  |  April 7, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Great post! I like to make sure the moisturize is well “soaked” into the skin before applying the self-tanner to ensure I don’t rub it off and cause streaking.

  • 4. Traci Walters  |  April 7, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Dr. Rodan,

    It is very ironic that self-tanning is the topic of your discussion today, and here’s why:

    I’ve used Dove Energy Glow for quite some time, and on this past Easter Sunday when my sister Denise Chadima asked me how I got so ‘tan’, I told her and she asked: “Doesn’t that affect the brown spots you are trying to get rid of with Reverse?

    Do you use self-tanners on your face?

    Thanks, Traci

    • 5. Derm RF  |  April 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm

      Yes. There are self tanners designed for the face, even ones that tan skin gradually for more subtle results.


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