Self-tanner is a popular cosmetic product designed to create a tanned complexion without sun exposure or the use of tanning beds. It is a safe and effective alternative for achieving a natural-looking tan, without the harmful effects of UV radiation.
How self-tanners work
Self tanners contain an active ingredient called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA is a colorless sugar that reacts with the amino acids in the top layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. This reaction, called the Maillard reaction, discolors the skin, creating a natural-looking tan. The result is usually visible within hours of application and can last for several days, depending on the product and individual skin.
Types of self tanners
There are several types of self-tanners available, including lotions, creams, mousses, sprays, and wipes. Each type has its own benefits and is suitable for different skin types and preferences:
Lotions and creams: These products are ideal for people with dry skin, as they often contain moisturizing ingredients. They are easy to apply and usually give even coverage.
Mousses: Mousses are lightweight and quick drying, making them perfect for those who want a quick result. They are easy to apply with a tanning mitt (special glove) and ideal for beginners.
Sprays: Sprays are useful for reaching hard-to-reach areas, such as the back. They dry quickly and provide even coverage. Professional spray tans are also available in salons for a professional finish
Tips for using self tanners
- Exfoliate your skin before applying to remove dead skin cells and promote an even skin tone.
- Apply the product evenly, paying extra attention to elbows, knees and ankles, where the skin is thicker.
- Use a tanning mitt for a streak-free result.
- Wait at least 10 minutes before getting dressed to avoid staining your clothes.