Putting on the Glitz
By Pro Tan

Any physique judge will tell you that aside from symmetry, muscularity and the confidence to succeed, your tan and oil preparation mark the final quality touches that make the difference on stage. However, before you begin tanning sessions, you must first take steps to improve the appearance and condition of your skin. To do this, it's vital that one determine his skin type. For example, dry skin feels taut and drawn and sometimes has a flaky feel or look. On the other hand, if one's skin is oily - or is a combination dry and oily - grease marks will appear on tissue paper blotted against the skin. As a matter of fact, this reaction can be noted within an hour after washing one's face as the forehead, nose and chin are particularly susceptible to oily build-up. Naturally, those blessed with normal skin have one less problem to worry about.

Although it's seldom discussed, skin care is extremely important to the competitive body-builder. One of the fundamental musts is to wash morning and night, especially after working out, in order to remove all traces of the day's debris - using a cleaner to achieve this ultra sanitary state. Wash and rinse thoroughly in lukewarm water. Never use overly hot water, as this will open the pores, "tripping the switch" for moisture loss.

Of course, maintaining the skin's moisture is also crucial. However, those with oily skin should avoid most moisturizing lotions due to the fact that the extra oil may contribute to skin breakouts. Naturally, those with normal, dry or combination skin should apply a moisturizer or rehydrating cream daily after the bath or shower.

Now you are ready to acquire that deep, dark, healthy looking tan that's a must for sporting the "cast in granite" appearance at contest time.

Step One: Two months prior to the competition, start using a tanning bed for 12 minutes a day, two to three times weekly. Should one not have access to a tanning bed, he can achieve the same results by lying out in the sun every 2-3 days during peak hours - 11 am to 2 pm.

Step Two: Be sure to use a good moisturizing lotion after showering to prevent drying and flaking caused by the increased exposure to sunlight and the lack of fats through dieting.

Step Three: A month prior to the contest, one's exposure time on the tanning bed should extend to 20 minutes, tree times weekly. Sunbathers should lie out every other day during 11am - 2pm. However, in no circumstances should the skin become burned. Actually, tanning should be done in short intervals to attain a solid brown (but not red) appearance. Furthermore, this decreases the likelihood of the skin prematurely aging or wrinkling due to overexposure to the sun.

Step Four: When carbing up three days before the contest, avoid the sun completely. Why? During this time the sun will "attack" the skin by dehydrating its structure. Plus, exposure to the sun may also cause one to feel exceptionally weak. However, now is the time to start applying a liquid instant tanning product like Pro Tan as this tends to give the most natural look.

How does one apply these kinds of products for maximum effectiveness?

Begin with one coat every eight hours the first day. Make sure that each coat is applied evenly with a soft sponge or applicator brush. Facial application can be best achieved by using a cosmetic Q-tip. But be sure to avoid getting the product on the palms of the hands! Note: You can apply two coats consecutively as long as you let dry before reapplying. A hair dryer will help speed this process.

On the second day, apply one coat every six hours using the same method.

On the third day, apply one coat after the morning shower or bath, following up with another coat after the evening shower or bath. Let dry and then apply a final coat. Be sure that all areas are covered - add extra coverage where blending. Depending on your particular skin tone, one should use approximately eight coats, although this can vary slightly. An 8.5 ounce bottle is sufficient.

Step Five: Contest morning evaluate your skin color. If you feel you need to be a little darker than you will want to use an instant bronzer. These should be applied immediately after showering to dry skin. Apply only one coat, as bronzers tend to get messy during presentation if applied to heavily. Most bronzers are applied with damp hands for even coverage. Allow drying for several minutes before contact with clothes.

Step Six: Using the right oil to show off your true skin tone is imperative. However, be sure to use a natural blend of oils instead of a regular sun tanning oil, which contains special tanning ingredients that are foreign to the skin and can foster the excessive beading of sweat. Almond, apricot and sunflower oils are excellent because they allow the skin to breathe and do not create muscular "blind spots" like mineral oil tends to under stage lighting.

Incidentally, always bring your own oil to a contest because settling for what's handy just won't do. And be sure that someone is available who can apply your posing oil evenly and lightly. If the oil is put on too thick, pat the skin dry with a towel.

Be sure to take an early morning shower as this will take off the excess tan color. But do not use soap as drying out may result. Instead, simply rinse the body with warm water. Then, massage your posing oil over your entire body; this will give your skin maximum moisture and a natural sheen.

With your newfound skin confidence you can have the winning edge. Your great tan will glow with the proper skin balance you've maintained, and your appearance will be that of a healthy disciplined bodybuilder.


STEP 1, 2 & 3: Use a Tanning Accelerator lotion before sun beds or natural tanning. Tanning accelerators harmlessly speed up the body's natural tanning process. A good accelerator contains L-Tyrosine, a silk amino acid that stimulates the production of Melanin, resulting in a faster, darker tan. (Apply before tanning. Apply a moisturizer at night after showering. Frequent misting over the entire body is recommended for best results.

Step 4: Skin stains, which are specifically formulated for the bodybuilder who needs a quick, rich, dark tan, need no sun at all. There are many products on the market, but very few that produces a natural looking tan and are good for your skin. PROTAN, the most popular of the bodybuilding stains, leaves the skin with a brown suntanned look, and not the orange color that competitors dread.

Before applying your skin stain, always exfoliate your skin. (This will make a big difference in the quality of the tan.) Exfoliating means removing all of the dirt, dead skin cells, and daily debris that collects in your pores. A skin scrub with moisturizers should be used during the shower, before the initial application. This will develop a perfectly smooth skin surface, which will in turn allow complete adhesion and even coverage of the stain, and eliminate unsightly and blotchy "wear-off". (It will also leave your skin looking healthier and feeling sleek.)

Now that your skin is healthy and smooth, you may apply your Instant Competition Color. Fair Skin should be applied 3-4 days before, with 6-10 applications. Medium skin should be applied 2-3 days before, with 6-8 applications. Dark skin should be applied 1-2 days before, with 4-8 applications.

Note: Each application should take about 30 minutes. Apply in the morning or evening after showering over entire body using a sponge applicator. Be sure to apply a very light coat over dry skin areas such as: ankles, knees, elbows, and wrists (these joint areas tend to get a little darker than the rest of the body. Note: Before applying put a moisturizing lotion over these areas to avoid saturation.)

Allow at least a half-hour before direct contact with clothes and water (air dry if possible). You will notice an instant tan; however, the true color darkens over an eight-hour period and may be deepened by repeated applications. (PRO TANā will wash out of sheets, etc., but don't forget to shower before wearing good clothes.)

A Little Tanning Trick: You may notice a dryness of your skin as a result of the chemicals in most stains, so it is important to always moisturize following the staining. PRO TANā Sunny Day Sunless Tanning Lotion and Moisturizer are specifically designed to maintain your skin's moisture balance while darkening your tan. It contains the same harmless active ingredient as the skin stain, so be sure to wash your hands immediately after use to avoid brown palms. By using the moisturizer during all methods of tanning (i.e. natural tanning, sun beds, or skin stains), you will be able to keep your skin soft, supple, and tan.

No Time To Tan: For those who don't wish to use self-tanning products or have no time to tan, there is always good 'ol Bronzer. Apply bronzer evenly over the entire body with damp hands quickly and evenly for an instant golden bronze look that dries in minutes. Bronzers work excellently over skin stains and sunless tanning lotions to create a deeper, darker tanned appearance.

Fact: White reflects, black absorbs.he darker your skin color, the better chance you have of emphasizing your true muscularity without suffering from the "definition wash-out" that can be caused by the powerful stage lights. You will look and feel healthier and more energetic. Don't be the one who gets washed-out under the lights!