Everything To Know About Self-Tanner
Laura Lee - January 8, 2022

Self-tanning lotion is a cosmetic product that provides temporary sunless tanning effects by giving the skin a tint of color. It contains dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as its main ingredient, which interacts with dead cells on the outermost layer of the epidermis and darkens the existing melanin in the process called oxidation. There are a lot of self-tanning lotions in the market. How do we know which one is best? The answer lies in how to use it, how much product should be applied and when to expect results, because who doesn’t want sunkissed skin?

Getty Images/Moment/Anna Efetova

People with fair skin who wish to achieve a suntan complexion should opt for an orange-based product or one that contains bronzers. Orange is darker than skin color, which means it can provide a natural-looking tan. People with medium to light complexions should look for dark brown-colored products so they won’t have a faux-looking orange complexion or one that’s designed to be self-adjusting. For best results, allow the product to dry for five minutes before dressing. People with dark skin tones should choose one that is designed to give natural-looking results, preferably even shades of brown. As you cannot overproduce the color in the tanning process, it’s safe to apply self-tanner on these people even if they missed a spot. However, be careful in choosing products for this skin type.

When using a self-tanning lotion, it is better to exfoliate dry areas of the body such as knees, elbows, and feet beforehand. Use a mitt or gloves when applying it to avoid staining hands. Apply the product evenly on the entire body in a circular motion; pay attention especially to knees, ankles, wrists, and elbows as these areas tend to get darker faster compared with other parts of the body. One rule to follow when using self-tanning lotion is to never apply it on areas with cuts, scratches, or irritated skin. These will make the tan appear darker and uneven. Always wash hands thoroughly after application to avoid staining nails. Do a patch test on a small area of the body first before using a new product. This way, you’ll know if your skin tolerates the lotion or if you have allergies to any of its ingredients. Choose the one that best suits your skin tone so you can achieve that glow your skin might be lacking this winter.

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