Ingredients of Sunless Tanners

Ingredients of Sunless TannersSun tanning has long been a part of our society. Millions of men and women all over the country use tanning as a way to enhance their skin color and improve their overall appearance. Unfortunately, over the past decade, the dangers of sun tanning have become more and more well-known. Every year, the link between sun damage (tanning) and skin cancer becomes stronger, and dermatologists the world over have begun strongly recommending that you stay away from long-term sun exposure under all circumstances.

Because tans continue to be so popular, people instead turn to sunless tanning as their way of ensuring that they get a tan without the dangers caused by the sun. These sunless tanning options provide the same tan appearance without any of the harsh skin damage of the sun or tanning booths. Though most sunless tanners use the same products, there are actually different main ingredients found in different types of sunless tanning options.

Ingredients in Sunless Tanners

  1. DHA

The most common and most effective sunless tanner is an ingredient known as DHA, or “Dihydroxyacetone.” DHA causes an interesting chemical reaction to your dead skin cells that give them the same appearance of tan color without dying your skin. That makes it quite effective and is easily one of the most effective ways to get a sunless tan. It should be noted, however, that many people have allergies to DHA, so you should always test it on a part of your body before you use the product for a long period of time.

  1. Erythrulose

Erythrulose is very similar to DHA. It is slightly less effective, but it works more slowly, which makes the same tan last longer even though it takes longer to start. Rarely will you find an Erythrulose product being used by itself. Rather, you will likely find it combined with DHA in an attempt to get the tan to last longer.

  1. Canthaxanthin

Canthaxanthin was once a very popular ingredient in sunless tanners. However, the product no longer has FDA approval as many side effects were found that caused damage and irritation to skin, the digestive system, the liver and more. In some countries, you will still find Canthaxanthin being used, but it is no longer recommended.

DHA and Erythrulose

There are other types of tanning agents available. Bronzers, for example, is more of a sunless tanning “makeup” as they can be washed off by water, but they are still useful if you need a dark tan for a single day. In addition, melanin hormone products are being developed that will possibly stimulate tan skin without the need for sun. But for now, the only two effective and well known sunless tanning ingredients are going to be DHA and Erythrulose, with DHA being the main ingredient.

DHA is going to be the safest option available provided it is used in a manner that is recommended by the FDA (no contact with mucous membranes and no swallowing). There are other options available, but it is strongly recommended by the FDA that you do not use these options as they have a history of health problems associated with them.

How to Apply a Sunless Tan Evenly

Sunless tanners are a great way to make sure you avoid the health risks of extended sun exposure. They pose no known risk of skin cancer, and they do not cause any permanent damage to your skin that will affect your health or appearance in the long term.

One of the most common concerns that people have about using these sunless tanning lotions is that their tan will look uneven. Indeed, these creams are not perfect – they do not evenly distribute the tan all over your body the way that the sun does, because it is difficult to perfectly measure the lotion the same way that the sun is dispersed in the air. Still, there are ways to make sure that your sunless tan looks correct and generally streak free on your body.

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Tips for Improving The Appearance of Your Sunless Tan

  • Shower and Exfoliate First

No amount of measurement can make up for the problems that may occur if you do not shower and exfoliate before applying the sunless tanner. Dead skin is never even on your skin, and the sooner that the dead skin is removed, the better your tan will look. You also need to make sure that all lotions and makeups have been removed as well so that they do not interfere with the lotion.

  • Start from the Bottom

The best way to start is to work your way up from your feet. You want to make sure that your tan is properly dispersed and measured. If you start from the top and work your way down, you risk “thinking” that you covered a part of your body correctly even though you may not have applied enough to that area.

  • Use Two Mirrors

It is helpful for applying your tan if you can see all sides of your body as you are applying it. Double mirrors helps. You can easily apply the lotion to your back without worrying about if you are missing a spot.

  • Go Slow, Use the Right Amount of Lotion

Don’t try to hurry the application. Measure the appropriate amount from the start and then slowly apply it to your body. Going slow is the only way to make sure that you reach every part of your body and get the all over tan you are looking for.

  • Let the Tan Set In

Finally, once you have applied the tan, give it time to do its job. If you rush to put on clothes or shower, you are going to spread and remove the tan before it has had a chance to do its job. The instructions on the gel will tell you how long it takes before you can remove any excess lotion – take your time and make sure that the lotion is properly placed on your body and has had a chance to work its magic.

If you adhere to all of the tips above, your tan should look as impressive as you want it to look. Follow the above tips, and your tan will likely shine.

Can I combine a sunless tan with a regular tan?

Sunless tanning has quickly become the most popular method of reducing skin damage while still maintaining a sexy and healthy tan. It provides you with the same color as a regular tan without the need to spend any time in the sun.

But sunless tanning is also not permanent, which is why people still prefer to sun tan instead. Sunless tanning lasts only four or five days on average before it has completely faded away, and even the best sunless tanning options last only approximately 2 weeks. Sunless tanning is a great way to get a dark tan quickly, but it is not something that is going to last unless you reapply the color every few days.

That is why some people try to combine the two options – use sunless tanning to create darker skin, and then get a sun tan so that the tan color becomes longer lasting. It’s an interesting theory, but does it work?

Can I combine a sunless tan with a regular tan?

Sunless Tanning and Sun Tanning

As far as overall safety is concerned, sunless tanning and sun tanning are independent. That means that you can use a sunless tanner and then tan in the sun, and the sun tan will not have any effect on the sunless tanner. With the exception of some rare allergies and possible skin irritation, there is no reason that if you use sunless tanner you cannot also sun tan. The two are not related and will not affect each other.

However, it should be noted that if you are tan with a sunless tanner, that does not mean that you can spend more time in the sun. Quite the contrary, there are reasons that you should be even more careful.

Dangers of Combining Both Methods

In general, a sun tan acts as a defense from harsh sun rays. The tanner you are, the longer you can spend in the sun without burning. But sunless tanners are not real tans. When you tan from the sun, the UV rays are going deep within your skin, affecting the bottom layers. But sunless tanner only affects the top layers. As result, tans from sunless tanning lotions do not provide even a single bit of protection from the sun’s rays. The two are not related, so if you had fair skin before applying the sunless tanner, and you spend a great deal of time in the sun, you are going to get a severe burn, no matter how dark your skin appears.

In addition, normally when you have fair skin you can see warning signs that you are in the process of burning, such as light pink skin. But because you have the sunless tanner, you may not be able to see the pink hue of your skin and suffer a tremendous burn because of it. In that sense,     sunless tanning may be slightly more dangerous, though the tanning itself has no effect on your burning.

So if you choose to use both it is safe to combine the methods (or, at least, no less safe than sun tanning in general), but make sure you are very careful because your newly applied sunless tan will not protect you from the sun’s rays.

How to Remove a Sunless Tan

Sunless tanning is a great alternative to sun tanning. By avoiding the sun, you are able to reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature aging, while still obtaining a realistic looking tan that you can be proud of. Sunless tanning is far safer than regular sun tanning, and the products that provide these tans have evolved so that they are able to produce extremely realistic looking results.

Still, sunless tans are not foolproof. It is possible to get a tan that you are not fond of, because unlike regular sun tanning, self-tanning products can cause mistakes. Below are some helpful tips for how to get rid of a sunless tan quickly.

How to Remove a Sunless Tan

Sunless Tan Removal

  1. Do Nothing

One thing to remember is that sunless tans are temporary products. They last as little as 2 days, and at most 2 weeks – and two weeks is if you care for your sunless tan properly. By simply not applying any more of the tanner, the sunless tan should fade on its own very quickly.

  1. Take Long Baths

If you need to speed up the sunless tan removal process, one option is to take some very long baths, soaking your skin from head to toe. Taking long baths can expand dead skin cells and dilute the color. It is also a good way to stimulate new skin growth, which will help you remove your dead skin cells.

  1. Exfoliate

The sooner your skin cells are shed, the sooner you will lose your color. Do not overdo it – too much exfoliating is bad for your skin. But exfoliating gently will speed up the tan removal process, so it is useful to scrub your skin whenever you take a shower or bath and simply hope that the tan starts to fade more quickly.

What if Nothing Works

The main problem that most people have with sunless tanning products is that they do not last very long. Within a few days these tans can fade away, and those that like their sunless tanner have to continue to apply the lotions in order to maintain their tan. Most people want tanning products that will last longer on their skin, not shorter.

As a result, sunless tanning companies have been trying desperately to help create tanning products that last longer, and go deeper into your skin. Because of these formulas, it may not be possible to speed up the tan removal process that quickly, no matter what you do. Do not try to speed up the process by scrubbing your skin raw. It will not work, and you will simply damage your skin. Instead, just let the tan take its course and do not reapply any of the lotion. In a few days you should see it fading, and by the end of the week it should be completely gone. In the meantime, keep exfoliating and taking long baths, and your tan should fade well enough on its own.