Sunless Tan

As a teen, I baked my skin like a rotisserie chicken. Even when tanning became taboo, I did it anyway. Never mind that I was exposing my skin to dangerous UV rays. Luckily, the beauty industry, never a group to let scientists rain on its parade, invented tan in a bottle—although most lotions made my skin look like a bruised tangerine. Then came the spray-tan booth, which, at $20 a pop, wasn’t worth the three-day color I received. So when I heard about the Day Spa’s sunless-tanning treatment, I assumed it wouldn’t be any different. But this Edina-based salon suggests its service provides deeper color that lasts longer, due in part to the concentrated St. Tropez products they use—and also because the application is all done by hand.

So I decide to give it a try. My Day Spa skin-care specialist, Tracee, first massages an exfoliating scrub on my entire body. Next, Tracee lays the lotion on thick—a mud mask for the skin—to minimize streaking. She lets the cream dry for 10 minutes, then buffs off the uppermost layer with mitts. Even after she wipes my skin, however, I look a little dirty, and, honestly, am a little smelly. I’m not allowed to bathe (or sweat or be in the rain) for four hours after the application. But when I shower later that evening, I emerge a glowing goddess—bronzed and streak-free. The faux tan has become my friend. Indeed, compared to the sunless-tanning treatments I have tried, the Day Spa’s version is the closest alternative to a day at the beach. A week later, my color is gone, but it was a nice (and safe) vacation while it lasted.

WHAT: Sunless tanning, an exfoliating treatment and lotion application
The Day Spa
7575 France Ave. S., Edina

TIME: 90 minutes
PRICE: $80