How does it work? Is continued use bad? Should you exfoliate before use? Are there any tricks to get it off if you use too much?
The active ingredient in self tanner is the coloring agent dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This agent combines with the amino acids of the dead skin cells and causes a temporary darkening which can mimic a tan. Since your skin cells shed, so will this self tanner therefore it is a temporary effect.
Unlike the tan from the UV ray which penetrates deeper into the skin and causes sun damage, self tanners are very safe.
What are some Tips and Tricks for using Self tanners?
A few tips and tricks on how to best use self tanners. First of all, it can be a messy process as it can get on your clothes and anything else you touch while you wait several hours for it to take to your skin.
To get the best results, shower and exfoliate thoroughly and allow your skin to dry for at least 15 minutes before applying self-tanner. Also shave before you apply the self tanner.
Apply the product in a thin layer as evenly as you can, then wait another 15 minutes for the product to dry before putting clothes on. I suggest applying a moisturizer on thicker skin such as the elbows, knees, hands and feet before applying the self tanner since those areas can appear darker.
Another tip on how self tanning lotion works best is to start from the legs up. Next, apply the product to the torso, behind, neck, and back. Then, move onto arms and save the residual product for elbows, wrists, and back of hands and avoid product buildup between fingers.
Also washing the hands or wearing gloves immediately after application will prevent brown streaks on your palms.
Also self tanners come in a variety of formulas, including lotions, wipes and sprays. When it comes to how self tanning lotion works, the science is simple. The more DHA that a self tanner has in it, the faster you’ll achieve a dark tan. For instance, spray tans are notorious for using concentrated amounts of DHA to promote a quick, golden bronze color.
Are self tanners safe?
Self tanners are 100% safe. The FDA approved the use of DHA for external use only as long as it’s not applied to areas covered by mucous membranes like your mouth, nose, and eyes (obviously). And as always, follow the application directions on the product packaging.
How Does Self Tanning Lotion Work to Protect My Skin from Sunburn?
In a nutshell, self tanning lotion does not protect skin from sunburn, so it’s imperative that you always wear sunscreen when exposing your body to UV rays.
It’s a common mistake people make, but an important fact to remember is that most self tanning products are not formulated with sunblock. However, self tanning lotion used in conjunction with sunblock makes for a much safer alternative to tanning outside or even worse, using tanning beds.
How To Get Self Tanner off Your Hands and Palms
The most effective way to avoid an excess tanner situation is to wash your hands right after you apply self tanner to your skin. This step will help get rid of extra amounts of self tanner that can cling to your hands after application.
If you forget to wash your hands and your self tanner has dried on your palms, then exfoliate. Exfoliation is one of the easiest ways to remove self tanner from your palms and hands. Exfoliants slough off dead skin cells, so they can gently take off the top layer of tanned skin cells, creating a lighter appearance. However, removing too many skin cells can create discomfort or even long-term skin damage.
The key is to use gentle materials that get the job done without harming your skin. Many of the best exfoliants for this purpose are everyday household items you likely already have, so no need to search for an expensive or exotic option. Some examples include baking soda, baby wipes, lemon juice, white vinegar or nail polish remover. Remember to be gentle and not too aggressive otherwise you can get irritation or a rash.