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

Most of the best sunless tanners have the following ingredients:

  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 drying 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. You might rarely 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 the 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. Please note that they should follow the recommendations of the FDA (no contact with mucous membranes and no swallowing).

There are other options available too. But DA strongly recommends 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.

You might ask, why. This is 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.

how to apply spray tan

Tips for Improving The Appearance of Your Sunless Tan

Even if you have the best sunless tanning products, you have to follow these steps no matter what:

  • 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 sunless tanner if you can see all sides of your body as you are applying it.

Double mirrors help a great here. 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 for 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 suntan 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 getting a good tan from tanning booths to create darker skin, and then get an effective suntan 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 suntan 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 suntan. 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 suntan 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 a 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.

Effectiveness of Spray Tans

spray tan effectiveSpray tanning is currently the best alternative to sun tanning and tanning booths. By using spray-on tans, you are able to avoid any of the unnecessary health risks that come from UV rays.

Spray-on tans have essentially no long term health risks, with a few rare exceptions, so for those that are trying to get darker, sexier skin, a spray tan is the safest option currently available.

But a safe option does not necessarily mean the best option. For a spray-on tan to be useful, it must also be effective. So how effective are spray tans, and what can you expect from using any fake tanning system?

Spray-on Tan Efficacy

It was not long ago where spray-on tans tended to leave a yellow, streaky residue that was the subject of public mockery for years. Since then, however, many products have honed their chemicals, and these days spray-on tans do, in fact, look like regular tans. There are several aspects you need to consider before this is true:

  • The sunless tanning product must be one of the more well-known products – cheaper knockoffs are still streaky.
  • You must make sure that you apply the tanning lotion correctly.

Provided you follow both of those rules, however, your fake tan should pass off for a real tan with ease. There are still products that are not quite as user-friendly, but if you make a good decision when it comes to which products you use and buy, you should be okay.

Also, stay away from anything labeled a “bronzer” as these are designed to coat your skin an orange hue, and are primarily used by bodybuilders.

Short Term Effects

One of the things to note about this type of tanning, however, is that it is incredibly short term. Sunless tanning only “lasts” anywhere from 2 to 7 days before it starts to fade, and to keep up your tan a new coat must be applied. If you plan on keeping your tan’s appearance for a long period of time, this means that you need to schedule a time to apply a new coat often – at least once a week, if not more.

So while the tan itself easily passes off as a real tan, you will have to reapply the coat often to keep the tan up. Otherwise, the tan skin will fade fairly quickly, and within a week or two it may fade away altogether.

Overall, sunless tanning is an effective and safe way to get your skin the color that you want. By following the directions on the bottle (and going with a brand that is known to provide an effective fake tan), you will be able to get the skin tone that you prefer, and to the naked eye, it will appear as though the tan is completely real.

But be advised that over time your tan is going to fade, so before you decide to do sunless tanning, make sure you are ready to commit to the idea of reapplying the coats over and over again for a long period of time. You need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of sunless tanning.

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 sunless tan products that provide these tans have evolved so that they are able to produce extremely realistic-looking results.

Still, sunless tans are not foolproof. The safety of fake tans needs to be explored.

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. How much does a spray tan last?

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 has 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 lotions.

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.