A Long-Lasting Faux Glow
Many people today are concerned about the risks associated with sun exposure, but not everyone is willing to go without a tan. Self tanners or sunless tanners are sun care products that create the look of a suntan with no sun exposure required. Typically, these products use an ingredient called dihydroxyacetone or DHA to darken the skin.
DHA reacts with the protein in skin tissue, creating a color change that lasts for a few days, gradually fading little by little. The reaction takes time to occur. You'll typically notice your faux tan growing darker for a few hours after you apply your self tanner. Some self tanners have temporary cosmetic bronzers in their formulas that will darken your skin right away to give you instant color while you wait for the long-lasting results to develop.
How to Choose a Self Tanner
There are many different types of self tanners available on the market. Which one is right for you will depend upon a number of factors.
First, you'll want to take your current skin color into consideration. Self tanners come in Light, Medium and Dark forms. For fairer skin, lighter products will produce the most natural-looking results, while darker skin will require a darker formula.
Another important thing to consider is what form will be the easiest for you to apply. Self tanners are available in lotion, spray and towelette forms. With a lotion, you can see where you're applying the sunless tanner to ensure even application. Spray tanners go on faster and can simplify application in difficult-to-reach areas like the middle of your back.
Towelettes allow for easy application as well and are preferred by some people because they are less messy than creams but provide a higher level of control than sprays. If you want to be tan from head to toe, you may need to use more than one towelette each session.
An Instant Touch of Color
If you only want to show off a faux glow for special occasions, a cosmetic bronzer may be a better choice for you than a self tanner. These products contain pigments that give the skin a darker appearance immediately after application. The results can last up until when you bathe again. Cosmetic bronzers are available in powdered forms that provide subtler color and spray-on and cream forms that produce richer color.
Enhancing a Natural Tan
If you don't want to give up sunbathing or hitting the tanning bed, sun care bronzers are available to help you enhance results. These products contain ingredients that support the natural tanning process to help skin darken. Many also include FDA-approved sunscreen ingredients. back to top »