So many of us are seeking that sun-kissed skin tone, making the tanning industry a multi-billion-dollar business. It has been said people who are tan are perceived as being more attractive. Whether this true is debatable, and people have conflicting opinions on the matter.
I have also heard people say they appear thinner and healthier when they have tanned. There are also special occasions such as weddings, proms, cruises and other events that people want to be tan for. Whatever the reason, we flock to beaches, lakes, and tanning salons in search of that perfect bronze.
If you have ever found yourself shopping for tanning lotions or creams, you may be overwhelmed by the options that are out there. The shelves are lined with tons of containers and tubes of products for tanning that you may be completely clueless to their uses.
Deciding whether to use a lotion or not and if so, which one to use can be quite confusing to consumers. I can’t begin to tell you how much money I’ve wasted over the years buying the wrong products trying to achieve my desired results. Today, we will break down everything you need to know about tanning lotions so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing. Hopefully, this will help the next time you find yourself puzzled staring at the array of options available to tanners.
What is Tanning Lotion?
Tanning “lotion” is abroad term for products used to enhance the tanning process and increase melanin production in the skin. Consistencies vary from lotions, creams, and mousse, to gels, oils, and sprays. Using a tanning lotion is an essential element to achieving the deepest, darkest, longest lasting tan possible. They also contain the necessary ingredients to keep your skin hydrated and looking healthy. There are three types of tanning; indoor, outdoor and sunless. Each of these three types has products that are exclusive to that kind of tanning. The main two things to take into consideration before picking your product is which form of tanning you plan on doing and your skin type.
Outdoor Tanning Lotions
When choosing to tan outdoors, it is recommended that you use a tanning product that contains sunscreen. We all know the relation between overexposure to the sun and skin cancer. Sunscreen not only helps block dangerous, cancer-causing UV rays but also with preventing sunburns and premature aging.
Tanners should consider where they are going to tan, skin type, personal skin tone, and the desired level. This will help you in determining the SPF level, moisturizers, and additives; such as bronzers or accelerators, needed specifically for you. You should choose between fair, olive/medium, or dark.
Indoor Tanning Lotions
Indoor tanning lotions are intended for use with tanning beds or tanning lamps. These products rarely contain sunscreen and are only meant to block artificial UV rays, not natural ones from the sunlight. These should not be used to prevent sunburn. Indoor lotions are specially formulated with ingredients that will not damage the tanning bed like some outdoor lotions have been proven to do.
You will find a variety of options when shopping for indoor lotions. The following list will help you decide which products are best for you:
Basic Tanning Accelerators. Perfect for beginners needing to establish that base tan. These products will help you achieve a nice, even color. You will want to pick a lotion that hydrates, smooths, and softens skin while darkening These accelerators allow your body time to adjust to the tanning process before you move to the next level.
Bronzers. These are by far the most popular type of lotions on the market. These really bring that deep, natural looking pigment out in the skin. There are three main types of bronzers: instant bronzers that will wash away, natural bronzers that use ingredients to increase your melanin production, and DHA bronzers which work with the amino acids in your skin essentially staining your skin.
Some customers worry that using a bronzer will turn your orange. While this was a legitimate concern when they first came out, the industry has perfected this product to where this is no longer a concern when using a reputable brand. Modern products leave you with healthy, radiating skin. Another concern is streaking and staining. You want to make sure you apply the cream evenly, using care on hands, feet, knees and elbows. Hands should be thoroughly washed after application and before tanning.
Tingling Tanning Lotions. These are generally used by advanced tanners. These can be too harsh for beginners or anyone with sensitive skin. It is highly recommended to do a patch test before purchasing. Tingle products maximize the skin’s microcirculation and oxygenation process, the reaction produces deep, dark tanning results. You can use in conjunction with a bronzer for a beautiful tan in a short period.
As the name suggests, you will experience tingling and redness of the skin anywhere this product is applied. Some customers are unable to tolerate the burning and itching side effects. This can sometimes last for several hours, so plan accordingly. Hands should be thoroughly washed after application, and extreme caution should be used near the face.
After Tan Moisturizers. Helps replace the vital nutrients lost in the tanning process. This will help avoid the dryness and itchiness you may experience afterward. Many people use lotions before entering the beds, not realizing the secret to a longer lasting tan is daily hydration. Without this step, you will end up with a dry layer of skin covering your beautiful tan, blocking the natural glow.
Facial Tanners. Designed specifically for the delicate flesh of the face. Many do not realize that normal lotions are not meant to be used on the facial and neck areas. If you do not wish to purchase a separate facial tanner, a good SPF will also work fine. Just make sure you are applying some type of protectant to your face to avoid signs of premature aging.
Sunless Tanning Lotions
Sunless tanning has become increasing popular over the last several years, due to safety concerns over skin cancer. These self-tanners offer a completely safe option for obtaining your desired skin color. The coloring will typically start to fade within a few days, and all remnants will be completely gone in about three weeks. While the results are temporary and artificial, the health benefits far outweigh this minor drawback. With that said, these products should never be used to protect the skin against sunburn. These items can be purchased in the form of lotions, creams, mousses, sprays, gels, and foam.
A common complaint customers have, is the orange tint frequently seen with these products. Staining and streaking can occur as well. It is important to exfoliate and moisturize before carefully applying the lotion to get a more natural look. Start slowly and build your base color wisely. Generally, less is more with self-tanners. You can find many online discussions to help you find the most reputable brand.
Read the entire article over at Positive Health Wellness.