Self Tanning Products -How To Choose The One Perfect For You.


Choosing self tanning products that will give you results you want can be a bit tricky at times. There are so many self tanners on the market, it can make your head spin. Which to choose so that you will not throw your money away on another cosmetic that does not work?

A little bit of knowledge might make your decision easier:

How do self tanning products work?

The tanning component in most self tanners is DHA, a sugar which reacts with amino acids in your skin cells turning it brown. What colour your skin becomes after applying DHA containing cosmetics depends on how much DHA it absorbs. If it absorbs a little, it will turn nice golden brown. If it absorbs a lot, it will turn darker, but not necessarily brown.

Choose products that are appropriate for your skin colouring.

Because all skins are different, some products that turn certain skins nice brown will turn others orange. Creams and lotions that promise to give your skin a deep tan are likely to contain a lot of DHA. They should be used by people who have olive skin or a good base tan from sun or solarium.

If, on the other hand, you are very pale, don't choose products that promise you a "deep tan". At best you will look odd, at worst you will look great at a Halloween party dressed as a pumpkin. Make sure the self tanning product you choose will only produce a light tan.

If you are very pale, or just starting experimenting with self tanning products it is best to choose a product that will build up your tan. That way you can choose the depth of colour you feel comfortable with, and then just work on maintaining it.

If you already own a self tanning product that has too much DHA in it, you can still use it if you mix it with some moisturising cream to dilute it. Mix carefully an amount to cover your whole body in a bowl (better too much rather than not enough and getting half the body different color, eh), and spread it evenly.

Make sure that you read the directions!

I think that a lot of all streaks and patchy tans come from people applying products wrongly. With sprays and gels it usually takes some time before you (and your partner/friend who has to do your back) get really good at it.

The best time to apply the self tanning product is in the evening, so that it develops overnight, and it gives you the chance in the morning to either scrub off any spots that turned out too brown, or fill in any spots that you missed out.

A good trick when applying a self tanning spray, foam or lotion is to put on a pair of latex gloves, spray on a little self tanner at a time (eg one leg below the knee, then the other etc.) and rub the product in evenly. If the product contains bronzer you will see if you have covered all the places.

Make sure that you wash your hands afterwards, even if you did wear gloves.

If you tend to be heavy handed with cosmetics (like, the more the better), you must change that habit with self tanners. More is not necessarily better. In fact, I used a perfectly good product to turn my ankles orange by applying too much. When I decreased the dosage, my ankles turned out great.

Some additional rules for choosing spray tanning cosmetics

  • You usually get what you pay for. To create quality product you need quality ingredients, and these often are more expensive. Of course, it does not mean that the most expensive product will give you the best result, but be prepared to pay a fair price.
  • What works for your friend might not work for you (they are likely to have totally different skin to yours).
  • What worked for you five years ago might be totally unsuitable today (our skin changes dramatically over time, and over different seasons).
  • With a good quality product you don’t need to apply a lot. Usually less is more. It’s better to build up gradually, rather than correct mistakes.

Here is an example of one of the best self tanning products that I came accross.

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