Here in New York, the summer is fading and, unfortunately, so are most people’s tans. So, if you want to keep your tan all year long, it’s really important to learn how to use self-tanners properly. If you can use a self-tanner, you want that tan to be as rich and as even as a real tan. If you understand how self-tanners work, you’ll understand then why it’s so very important to exfoliate your skin daily in order to be able to have a rich, even tan from a self-tanner. Self-tanners work only by staining the dead surface cells on your skin. Those dead surface cells are supposed to fall off after four weeks, and therefore, the surface should be smooth but the cells don’t always do that. They start to accumulate into clumps and mounds and, when that happens and then you put a self-tanner on, the self-tanner has more staining on the mounds and clumps than it does on the areas around it, and you get an uneven tan from the self-tanner. The corrugations on this piece of cardboard are like the mounds of cells on your skin. If you apply the self-tanner like the magic marker, it hits the high points and stains the high points or the mounds more deeply and you get a very uneven color. However, if you exfoliate daily and get your skin to a nice even smooth base and then put your self-tanner on, this is what it looks like in representation of the black magic marker on a nice, even-base. The tan looks even. So, if you want to keep your tan all year round and use a self-tanner, make sure you exfoliate every day so you can really enjoy a nice even rich deep tan.