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?
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.