Style & Beauty
4 Myths About Sunless Tanners, Busted!
5/5/2017 1:44:52 PM

One of the best parts of warmer weather is saying so long to those cumbersome coats and jackets for another year. However, over the winter, many of us have gotten a little pasty under all those layers. As we settle into our shorts and sundresses it can be tempting to go a few rounds in a tanning bed or go without sunscreen until we build up a good "base tan.” 

But all that UV exposure comes at too high a price. Each year in the United States, there are more diagnoses of skin cancer than breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancer combined, and 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with UV radiation. The good news is that you can still get a bronze glow without risking your health. Sunless tanners have come a long way since the days of smelly orange grocery store goo. Here are some common self-tanning misconceptions all cleared up. This summer, try covering up -- in SPF, that is. The risk of skin cancer is very real, so why not put safety first and make your tan a fake. 

1. Self-tanners never look natural 

Back in the day, everyone was forced to slather on the same shade of self-tanner that always looked a little more like body paint than a natural tan. But these days, no matter how fair your skin, there’s a perfect self-tanner shade out there. Tinted body lotions can gradually add color over time, and there are in-shower self-tanners you rinse off after a few minutes to leave behind a subtle, sun-kissed look. 

2. It smells bad

Another hallmark of those old-school self-tanners was their signature, slightly spoiled scent. That smell came from a chemical called DHA, a tinting agent derived from sugar cane. Newer formulas have toned down the DHA scent with other smells, like citrus, or even created scent-free formulas. 

3. It always gets streaky 

We’ve all seen the telltale signs of a self-tanning disaster: patchy elbows or streaky knees. But it’s not that hard to avoid those sneaky streaks. Just exfoliate your entire body with an oil-free scrub up to eight hours before applying your self-tanner. Exfoliating gets rid of dead skin, which is often the culprit behind uneven tans. Also, wipe thicker-skinned areas, like elbows and knees, immediately after applying the tanner to even out the color. And don’t forget to wash your hands!  

4. The tanning bed is easier

If the idea of spending an hour exfoliating, lotioning, and twiddling your thumbs waiting for sunless tanner to dry makes you want to run to the nearest tanning salon, do it! Many tanning salons now offer sunless spray-on options where you can chose your shade, accelerator, and bronzer. You can even add a scent, so you’ll leave the salon smelling like a tropical vacation.

Posted by: Emily Alford | Submit comment | Tell a friend

Categories: Skin Care  |  Summer Trends

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