Welcome to Sunless Tanning!
Welcome to the web’s headquarters for all things sunless tanning! We’ve got you covered on everything you want to know about sunless tanning, self tanner, spray tans, self tanning lotions, cremes, gels, and much more.
Let’s face it having a nice golden tan makes you look younger, healthier, radiant, and overall more appealing. But if you achieve that bronzed beauty glow through tanning beds or unprotected sun exposure, your skin will be just the opposite of healthy and youthful looking. Unfortunately, this kind of glow comes at an alarming cost in the form premature wrinkles, sun spots, and even worse, skin cancer.
Sunless Tanning – also commonly referred to as Self Tanning, UV-Free Tanning, Spray Tanning, or Fake Tanning – has become the preferred method of tanning for your skin. It’s a safer, healthier alternative, and actually works faster providing all the benefits without all the harmful consequences.
The best self tanners allow you to keep an attractive tan year round regardless of whether the sun is shining. Similarly, they often offer a perfect solution when your short on time or in need of a perfect tan for an upcoming event. The best part about self tanning is that it is convenient and easy, yet does not break the bank.
To gain more knowledge on self tanning and the self tanner products and methods available, take a look around. Also, be sure to read up on some of our self tanner product reviews and see our buyers guide with its corresponding comparison chart. Or simply take a look at our top ten best self tanner list here. If new to self tanning, you can also take a look at our self tanner golden rules for applying self tanner.
What Exactly are Sunless Tanning and Self Tanner Products Anyway?
Sunless Tanning, or self-tanning, refers to any topical product that interacts with your own skin cells to turn it to a tanner color in a matter of hours while providing results that last for several days. The active ingredient is DHA dihydroxyacetone which is a colorless sugar that interacts with your cells. As the DHA interacts with your cells, the color changing appears and usually lasts between 3-5 days. A best self tanner will last up to a full week.
Bronzers are different in that they immediately make your skin appear darker when applied, but only last until you wash them off. Therefore, bronzers are more like a form of makeup, while self tanners actually darken the skin until those skin cells are exfoliated off—either immediately with the use of an exfoliating scrub, or after a few days of regular showering.
You may have noticed the new section of sunless tanning products in your local drugstore or witnessed the advent of spray tan salons, and even mobile airbrush tanning services, popping up all over town while simultaneously being advertised by celebrities on television and in magazines.
We all want to be tan because it makes us look better in a bikini, in pictures, and in wedding gowns. It is not surprising, then, that brides, models, and movie stars alike can all be found self-tanning before their big events.
This is because people have realized just how dangerous the effects of UV radiation are to the skin. Whether the source is from the sun or artificial tanning beds, ultra violet radiation leads to irreversible damage to including sunburn, brownish-colored sun spots, wrinkles, dry skin, freckles, scarring, premature aging, and moles that can cause life-threatening skin cancer.
Sunless tanning provides a safe alternative for your skin that is much less time-consuming than lying in the sun for hours and much more inexpensive than baking in a tanning bed. Self tanning products can be applied quickly when in a rush and also all year round when the sun is not available.
The best self tanner products are more popular than ever because of the quality results they produce, they are easy to apply, affordable and look 100% natural. In case studies, even advanced self tanner candidates interviewed could not tell the difference between a real tan and some of the best self tanner products. Check out our list of the best self tanner products on the market today.
How Do Self Tanner and Tanning Lotions Work?
Fortunately, the days of tanning lotions that turn the skin unattractive shades of orange or yellow are mostly gone. While these bygone sunless tanners did indeed bring about temporary changes in the shade of the skin, that color was usually quite different from the hue brought about by a genuine suntan, and it did not take an expert to quickly spot an “artificial” tan. Likewise, they dyed everything they came into contact with, and self tanning aficionados often sported telltale orange palms. Nowadays, over –tanning can sometimes lead to an orange coloration, but if you’re moderate in application, this can easily be avoided.
So, what changed? The answer to that question brings us back to Dihydroxyacetone or DHA, that shining star of the sunless tanning world. Effective tanning lotions contain DHA is concentrations of 1% to 15%.
But, just how does DHA do what it does? First let’s take a brief look at the skin itself. Our skin is primarily made up of two distinct layers: the epidermis on the outside, and the dermis on the inside. All tans—whether the result of hours spent in the sun or the use of sunless tanners –are the work of changes brought about in the epidermis.
This layer itself, however, is made up of several tiny layers. When the sun brings about a tan, it does so by affecting the deepest of these layers. Unfortunately, changes to this layer mean permanent and accumulative damage to skin. Sunless tanners do their work in the stratum corneum—the skin’s outermost layer—and in doing so, they bring about natural-looking tans without damaging the skin. This is the work of DHA as it interacts with these dead layers of skin, bringing about changes in the skin color without affecting the lower, living skin cells which are more susceptible to damage.
The best tanning lotion products are able to utilize DHA to produce a natural looking tan. Apply the tanning lotion to your skin and within a few hours you will begin noticing some results. The best tanning lotion and self tanning products will last 5-7 days. Be sure to follow the golden rules to self tanning when applying your favorite self tanner.
Are Sunless Tanning and Self Tanners Safe?
Smart consumers are concerned about more than just product effectiveness. Like any prudent individuals, they want to make sure their choices are safe in both the short and long term. Fortunately, DHA has a proven safety record, and has been approved by the FDA as well as the regulating bodies of most European Union member nations. This level of acceptance comes from years of use and scientific study. While DHA’s effectiveness in sunless tanning was actually discovered—and experimented with—as early as the 1950’s, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that the FDA was thoroughly convinced of its safety to the extent that it received approval for inclusion in cosmetic formulations.
So, while we are all familiar with the potentially deadly consequences of tans resulting from sun exposure, we can rest assured that self tanners produce their effects without compromising our health. Check out natural self tanner products.
What Concentration of DHA Should I look for in a Product?
As mentioned previously, tanning lotions can contain anything from 1% to 15% DHA. You’ll find that more DHA in any given product does not necessarily coincide with higher prices or better quality. Rather, the preferable level of concentration for a particular individual depends on a few things. To begin with, you’ll want to consider your desired level of tanning. Are you looking for the subtlety of a natural glow or do you prefer the effects of a deeply tanned appearance? In this respect, the process is rather intuitive: smaller percentages of DHA mean lighter tans, while those products containing large percentages will have much more obvious effects.
When selecting the best concentration of DHA, you’ll also want to consider your own skill level when it comes to self tanning. Those just starting out may want to try lighter formulations in order to avoid noticeable streaks resulting from uneven application. Fortunately, these lighter products can be layered so that beginners can also achieve darker tans without worrying about mistakes in application. Expert self tanner users who are seeking deep tans can skip right to products with higher concentrations. By doing so, they’ll benefit from DHA’s ability to create deep tans quickly and easily once you’re familiar with its use.
Who Can Benefit from the Use of the Best Self Tanner Products?
We’ve already looked at the reasons why those seeking a tanned appearance will want to achieve their goal without the dangerous and destructive effects of the sun. So who is the typical user of self tanning products? Well, anyone and everyone can be a user of sunless tanning products. People of all walks of life are beginning to appreciate the benefits of achieving the beauty that comes from a tanned hue. Users of self tanners span the realms of age, gender, location, and lifestyle. They range from high-powered corporate executives to housewives and college students. The reason that these consumers are so varied goes right back to the wide-ranging benefits or tanning. A healthy, glowing appearance can be beneficial both personally and professionally. Similarly, the boost to self-esteem that results from feeling confident in one’s appearance can lead to improvements in all aspects of life ranging from relationships to career advancement. Best Self Tanner List here.
So, How Should I Get Started with the Best Tanning Lotion?
Many people approach self tanners a bit haphazardly: they buy whatever product they see advertised on the television or in a magazine, or they simply peruse the drugstore shelf and choose the one with the most attractive packaging. Similarly, with regard to application, novice users of self tanners often just follow the instructions they find on the packaging without familiarizing themselves with some of the important tips and nuances for achieving the best, most natural results. While these techniques can sometimes be effective, a bit more investigation before embarking on a journey into self tanning can save you not only money, but also time and, potentially, frustration along the way. The good news is that by reading this introduction, you’re already ahead of the game. Now, by checking out our self tanner product reviews and application tips, you can rest assured that you’re making informed choices every step of the way. Also, be sure to check out our best self tanner list.