In recent years, a wide range of self tanning products have become available that can give you that “just been on holiday” look, without the potential long term skin damage that baking in the sun’s ultra violet rays can cause.
Though generally recognised as safe, sunless tanning products, also known as self tanners can carry some risks, depending on how they’re used and applied.
Most have an active ingredient called – dihydroxyacetone – DHA for short, a colour additive that reacts with dead skin cells on the outermost layer of skin and temporarily darkens the skin’s appearance. It doesn’t wash off, but fades as the dead skin cells fall off. within five to seven days.
The products come in different forms – lotions, creams, gels and sprays.
If you’re starting out, it’s advisable to use a gradual tanning moisturiser, or you can always mix a little self tanning lotion with your own regular body moisturiser.
Here are some tips to help you achieve an even looking tan. Modern products should be able to give you a natural looking tan if they’re applied correctly and carefully .
Choose a light or medium toned product, which tends to look more natural. If a product says medium to dark, or deep tan, its unlikely to suit fair skin. If you’re olive skinned, the results from using a light tan may not be too impressive.
Make sure you wash your skin with a sponge or wash cloth before applying the product to remove excess dead skin cells. Exfoliate with a body polish or body buffer on dry areas like knees and elbows. Women should shave their legs to achieve an even application.
Apply the product evenly and lightly. Use less on dry or thickened skin, such as the ankles, knees and elbows, as these areas tend to absorb more of the lotion.
After you’ve applied the self tanning material to your face and body, wash your hands with soap and water to avoid colouring the palms, and use a cotton bud to remove any excess lotion from the eyebrows, nails and hairline.
Then use a cotton pad to apply the sunless tanner to the top of each hand.
Getting the right level of application on the fingers can be tricky, as a lot of the product can settle around the knuckles and joints, leading to an uneven colour.
Make self tanning the last thing in your personal grooming routine. To prevent staining your clothes, wait until the sunless tanner dries completely, after about 15-20 minutes. The results can take up to 24 hours to develop fully, so don’t slap on more if you think you’ve under-applied.
Finally,it’s important to remember that many sunless tanning products don’t contain a sunscreen, and don’t protect your skin from sun damage. You need to add a sunscreen, with at least protection factor 15 before going outside. Get it right, and your fake tan will be foolproof all summer long!
The secret to making your own sunless self-tanner, at home! It even works better than the popular brands, and is actually healthy for your skin!