Malibu Barbie!

When this Pro was a little girl I wanted to be just like Malibu Barbie!  Drive a convertible corvette, live in a dream house, wear a skimpy bikini, be a bleach blonde and have an amazing, year-round tan!

As I grew older I achieved my goal because being born and raised in Southern California and spending my weekends at the beach was as easy as hopping on the bus or bumming a ride from friends.

Back in those carefree days we never used sunscreen, in fact this Pro is not sure I even knew what the word sunscreen meant.  I slathered on baby oil! I had so many freckles on my nose every summer and my poor skin would burn first, then peel and finally tan.  Little did I know, or even care back then, that my skin was on its way to resembling beef jerky!

It has only been within the last 15 years that I have become serious about protecting my skin from cancer and damaging UV rays.  I still live in SoCal and work a ton on outside location shoots.  I don’t care anymore about being Malibu Barbie or driving a convertible corvette.  I live in an over priced, suburban dream house and I am not skinny enough to wear a skimpy bikini!  My checking account won’t allow me to pay insane prices for bleach blonde hair, but I still care about having an amazing, year-round tan, only now I achieve my goal with the help of self-tanners.  I guess I am officially Fake and Bake Barbie!

I have tried several self-tanners and have been extremely disappointed with the Oompa Loompa orange color my skin turns hours after application.  I don’t know about you, but I like to look like I have a “normal” tan that appears to be a few shades darker then my natural skin tone.

I laugh at those people who have orange tints to their skin and think how impossible it must be to find a foundation to match that incredibly fake hue! Sorry Christina, but that "natural" glow is so hideous!

Recently, I have also discovered a fondness for the spray tan.  I mean a real spray tan, not from the aerosol can at the drug store, but from a professional, certified, spray tan technician who applies in the privacy of my own home!  In fact, IMPO Pro, Cathi Singh is one of the best spray tan techs in the biz and recently began to tan several clients on a regular basis both on and off the set.

Celebrities do it, models do it, and a lot of men do it too! Spray tanning has become the wave of the future for sun worshipers who crave that tan all year long. Only this method is completely safe, UVA and UVB free, and won’t leave you with years of sun damage!

It works by spraying a bronzing agent onto the skin using a high volume air machine. The main ingredient that actually colors your skin is called Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. The DHA soaks into the upper layers of the skin and reacts with the skin proteins and amino acids forming brown colored compounds. And voila, you have achieved a perfectly even (streak free) tan without sweatin’ it out in the harsh sun’s rays for 4 hours.

Spray tans take about 10 minutes to apply for preparation and spraying. Cathi personally uses a 99% alcohol free natural product on her clients and has never had anyone turn Oompa Loompa orange or have streaks and uneven lines. She uses the product on herself and loves the believable tan she can achieve, even on extremely fair skin.

Because spray tanning is becoming much more popular and accessible, it is extremely important that you research your tan technician! Ask the following questions:

* Are they certified?
* Trained?
* What products do they use?
* Are they mobile and does it cost extra to come to your home?

If you have allergy-sensitive skin like Cathi and I, ask about the products they carry.  Cathi has several different levels of DHA formulas, all with a high level of Aloe Vera to moisturize the skin, which helps maintain an even and long lasting tan. It also contains SPF 15, however, a spray tan is not to be considered sun protection. A daily sunscreen is recommended.

Some spray tan formulas have evolved and are infused with the newest powerful Anti-Aging complex, Matrixyl 3000, which has been hailed as “the new Botox” without the needle, but we have not been able to test out those formulas yet!

If you are having a professional spray tan for an up coming special event, work-related need, exotic vacation or maybe you just want to have a healthy glow daily, here are some important steps to extend the life of your tan:

* Moisturize! Keeping those upper layers of skin from drying out and sluffing off is the only way to keep your tan even and golden for up to 10 days. Cathi personally loves and recommends the convenience of a spray moisturizer, because it’s fast and gives a healthy sheen in seconds. Moist Air Hydration Treatment has the most delicious tropical scent and is easy to travel with. Spray it over a fresh spray tan for a gorgeous radiant glow!

* Exfoliate before your tan, not after! Once your tan has set in, only shower and moisturize with smooth lotions, nothing abrasive that could jeopardize the life of your tan.

* Spending long periods of time in jacuzzis and pools will lighten your tan, so try and stay dry for the first few days.

For more information on ingredients, products, and how to care for your tan, visit and if you would like to hire Cathi as your spray tan technician contact her directly at

If you are more of a DIY kinda guy or gal, then we recommend a few of the following over the counter self-tanning products:

Somerville360 - Tanning Towelette Face and Body - this product is wonderful and so easy to use!  Each towelette is concentrated with a paraben-free self-tanning formula that will give you a quick and even application with no streaking.  A natural glow takes about 2 to 4 hours to appear and for a deeper tan or to maintain your glow, reapply as needed.

Clinique Self Sun Body Tinted Lotion - this product comes in a tube for the face or for the body.  It is a tinted lotion that gives you instant color.  No surprise unblended streaks because it shows where it goes.  Looks smooth, even and a golden tan will develop in a few hours.  Reapply as needed.

St. Tropez - this self tanner is HUGE in Hollywood, in the music business and on the runways!  It is a salon-inspired formula that was specially created to give you the richest, deepest tan.  This product is infused with aloe vera and long lasting color.  It is also packed with Aromaguard fragrance technology, which eliminates the tell-tall self tan aroma by 70%.

Bella Bronze Body Bronzer - creamy rich, easy to blend, packed with moisturizers!  Gives you a deep-dark, streakless, sun-free tan within 2-3 hours.  Ingredients include Golden Chamomile, Virgin Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Goats Milk and Fig extracts.

Pro Do's and Dont's:

Do: exfoliate both your face and body prior to using self-tanning products or spray tans.  It will help expel dry, dead skin cells and prep the skin to receive the self-tanning product for optimal results.

Do: remember that self-tanners and spray tanning are not an alternative for sunscreen and you should continue use your normal sunscreen protection everyday.

Don’t: forget to read the instructions before applying a self-tanning product.

Do: Heed the drying time instructed before putting on your clothes.

Do: wash your hands immediately after application!

Pro Tips and Tricks:

One more thing before we go...for those of you who still love to tan the old fashion way and find that you have spent too much time in the this we mean, you skipped the golden tan and headed straight for lobster red, don't fret, we have found the cure-all product!

Kiehls' Centella Recovery Skin Salve - contains Tiger Herb, which gains its namesake from the wild, where tigers rub their wounds against it because of its natural healing properties.  It also has antibacterial and anti-psoriatic ingredients and will aid in many skin problems besides a sunburn such as hives and insect bites.  The insanely good looking bald man who sold this product to us said he uses it on his scalp if he burns because it takes away the tight skin pain, inflammation and prevents peeling.

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