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What Is Sunless Tanning?

If you want to protect your skin from damaging UV rays without sacrificing that golden bronze skin, self tanning lotion is the perfect solution. Sunless tanning products come in a variety of forms including lotions, sprays, airbrush tan, self tan towels, mousses and more. Skip the sun and achieve a perfect sun kissed glow year round.

How Does Self Tanner Work?

Increasingly, men and women are turning away from tanning beds and sunbathing due to concerns about the long-term effects of UV exposure on their skin. If you're among them, you don't have to give up having glowing, golden skin in order to ensure your safety. Self tanners can recreate the look of a natural tan with no sun required. CVS can help you find the right self tanner for your needs with a huge selection of products that you can shop online.

Why Use Self Tanner?

Tanning occurs when the sun's ultraviolet (UV) energy triggers the production of a pigment called melanin in the skin. While the results of this natural process may be attractive, exposing your skin to UV can have short-term and long-term consequences. Sunbathing and using tanning beds can result in painful inflammation of the skin called sunburn. Over time, tanning can make you more likely to get certain types of skin cancer and to develop fine lines and wrinkles at an early age.

How Long Does Self Tanner Last?

Self tanners or sunless tanners are products that allow you to get the look of a suntan without UV. Most products create this effect with the ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA). Upon application, DHA reacts with dead cells on the surface of your skin, causing them to darken in color. The results develop within a few hours of application and last for several days. Some self tanners also contain cosmetic bronzers that give you an instant golden glow while the longer-lasting fake tan takes effect. The next time that you bathe, these bronzers wash off.

How To Apply Self Tanner?

When you're ready to apply the tanning lotion, be sure to do so with clean hands, or you can use latex gloves. Smooth the lotion in circular motions, using a small amount at a time. You should use around a teaspoon worth for each application and start at the ankles, working your way up. Do this slowly and make sure you're covering every area you want to look tan. Save your arms and hands for last. When applying the lotion to your face, be careful of the area around your lips and nose since this area tends to dry out quickly. Use dime-sized amounts and work the tanner into the areas of your face where you'd naturally get a tan from the sun.

Types of Sunless Tanners

There are three main types of self tanners: creams and lotions, sprays, and wipes. Creams and lotions can quickly cover large areas and make it easy to monitor how much tanner you have applied to your skin. Sprays are simple to apply to hard-to-reach areas and create less mess than creams and lotions. The downside is that you may have a more difficult time applying a spray evenly and could potentially miss spots. Wipes simplify application and reduce the risk of missing areas; however, it can be challenging and time consuming to apply self-tanning wipes from head to toe. As a result, people sometimes use wipes on one part of the body, such as the face or legs.

Self Tanner Tips

To ensure best results, it is a good idea to test any new self tanner on a small patch of skin. Exfoliating prior to application can help to ensure evener, more natural coloration. Be sure to follow the instructions printed on the packaging carefully.

Best Sunless Tanner

Self-tanning lotion comes in many forms including sprays, mousses, and of course, lotion. Sprays make it easy to get to hard-to-reach spots such as the back of your knees and elbows. Mousses work well for more targeted areas of the body, and lotions are excellent for the face since they're a cinch to apply and absorb into the skin easily. Make sure you select a self-tanner that is closest to your specific skin tone and not the final result you want. Otherwise, you could end up with something much too dark that will look unnatural and unattractive.

Applying Tanning Lotion

Before you apply any self-tanning lotion, you should shave your legs for a more even application. Use an exfoliating cleanser on your face to eliminate dead skin cells and prep your face for a freshly tanned look. By preparing your skin ahead of time, you're creating a smooth canvas and skin that's ready to absorb the self-tanning formula. Don't forget to exfoliate rough areas of the body such as your heels, knees, and feet. Try not to use any cleanser or exfoliant that contains oil or else it could cause the tanning lotion to look streaky.