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Is Self-Tanner Bad for Your Skin?

3 min read

In most cases, the answer is no. Self-Tanner can be a great way to get a healthy, tan glow. But, we do have some notes on what to look out for. Ultimately, when it comes to getting a tan, there’s nothing more harmful than UV rays. Whether they come from the sun or tanning beds, the truth is, UV rays can cause a lot of damage to your skin while they’re delivering that golden glow. You might have considered self-tanners as an alternative to unhealthy sunbeams, but are you hesitant about the health effects this method could bring? Let’s take a look at the reasons the right self-tanners can actually do right by your body.

How Do Luminous Skin Care Products Work?

Luminous skin care products such as Self-tanning serums, mousses, and lotions are typically formulated with an ingredient called dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is a color additive. When DHA is applied to the skin, it reacts with the dead cells on the surface layer of the body, temporarily darkening them. This process, in turn, simulates a tan. As those dead skin cells begin to slough off, the tan begins to fade. This usually happens in a few days to a week.

Is Sunless Tanning Safe?

DHA has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as being safe for topical use. In other words, you can absolutely apply it to the outside of your body without worry. Be sure not to ingest it, as it’s not meant to be eaten. You’ll also want to keep it away from your lips, nose, and mouth because those areas are covered by mucous membranes that can be sensitive to foreign materials.

Sunless Tanning Does Not Protect You From UV Rays

Some people go to tanning beds before a big vacation to prep their skin for the sun it’ll be exposed to. When you use self-tanning products, you might achieve the same dewy glow, but remember that this isn’t a protective layer that can keep you from getting sunburned in real life. You’ll still need to apply sunscreen regularly to keep your skin safe from burns and overexposure to ultraviolet rays.

Be on the Lookout for Unnatural Ingredients

Some self-tanners contain chemicals that can cause allergic reactions. Before you apply any new product to your entire body, test it out on a small bit of skin in a discrete part of your body. Also, be sure to read the label and instructions thoroughly to ensure there aren’t more specific instructions you should be following. Be aware that sensitivities can develop over time, so it’s never a bad idea to do a patch test when you get a new bottle just to be sure your skin is still on board with the application.

Some Self-Tanners are Self-Drying

It’s important to keep moisturizing while you’re using your self-tanner because certain ingredients can cause your skin to dry out. One good tip is to apply baby oil to your body right after you shower, then gently towel dry without rubbing the baby oil off. The water and heat from the shower will help trap the moisture of the baby oil into your skin.

Avoid Spray Tans if You’re Pregnant

Although self-tanning is generally considered safe, the effects of inhaling spray tanning substances are unknown. This isn’t a risk you’d want to take if you’re pregnant, so opt, instead, for lotions, creams, and mousses.

If you’re looking for a way to get a healthy glow without exposing your skin to harmful ultraviolet rays, the best thing you can do for your body is to apply self-tanner. When you find a high-quality self-tanning mousse that’ll liven your skin without subjecting you to sun damage, you’ll walk away with stunning skin and no unnecessary side effects.