Beautiful, golden, glowing summer skin. Sounds so appealing, right? However, with skin cancer on the rise, we may ask ourselves, “How can I fake a summer tan?” Well, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Topical sunless tanning products are generally considered safe alternatives to sunbathing, as long as they’re used as directed.” Beautiful, glowing and healthy skin here we come!
How Self Tanners Work:
According to the Mayo Clinic, “The active ingredient in most sunless tanning products is dihydroxyacetone (DHA). When applied to the skin, DHA reacts with dead cells in the outermost layer of skin to temporarily darken the skin’s appearance. The coloring doesn’t wash off, but it gradually fades as the dead skin cells slough off — typically within a few days.”
How To “Fake” A Tan:
Step 1: Exfoliate. Exfoliating prepares the skin for an even tan with staying power. Exfoliating with a body scrub, gently removes dry, dead skin from the upper most layer of the skin, the epidermis. Doing so leaves a smooth base for even application and ensures a longer duration between self-tanning treatments. An exfoliant, such as Makes Scents Natural Spa Line’s Tropical Isle Coconut Body Scrub, is a wonderful start to self-tanning applications. Apply a small amount of a body scrub to your skin in the shower. Massage the product onto your skin in a gentle, circular motion. Rinse and towel dry.
Step 2: Apply Self Tanner: Whichever self-tanning product you choose, the application technique is typically the same; however, we do suggest following the directions listed on the product. Apply the self tanner in an even, gentle motion ensuring the product is evenly distributed. On areas of dry or rough skin, apply smaller amounts and massage until dispersed into skin. Areas such as elbows, knees and tops of hands tend to absorb the product faster and become darker so use caution. Also, don’t forget to wear your gloves to be free of the infamously embarrassing orange/brown hands!
Step 3: Dry Time: Allow adequate time for self tanner to dry, typically 20-30 minutes. Once again, follow product labels for specific drying time. Use caution on light colored linens once product is applied. Some self tanning products claim they “do not stain” but caution should still be taken.
Common Self Tanning Q & A’s:
Q: Do self tanners wash off?
A: If using a self tanner that is tinted to help ensure even coverage, you may notice the self tanner washing off in the shower; however, the reaction which took place between your skin and the self tanner will remain.
Q: How long will my tan last?
A: According to an article entitled A Fresh Start: The Importance of Skin Exfoliation our skin naturally sheds on average, 2-3 billion skin cells daily, and the entire skin surface is renewed every three to five weeks. Since natural skin exfoliation occurs at this rate, self tanners are usually applied on the average of once or twice a week.
If you want that sun-kissed look of summer without exposing yourself to harmful ultraviolet rays, fake that summer glow with a sunless, self tanner!
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