Discover Which Self Tanning Product Is Best For You And Your Skin!
Welcome to the web’s most trusted source on all things self tanning!
It’s no secret that being tan helps you look your best (and makes you more attractive to others)… that’s probably why you came to this website.
And by now you know that too much time in the sun or tanning bed causes wrinkles, aging and worse.
So that leaves self tanning lotions, sprays and creams as your best option for getting a beautiful, healthy tan that everyone will envy!
But, out of the hundreds of products currently available, which one is right for you and your skin?
Well, that’s where we come in…
Our community of beauty experts rank, review and update virtually all of today’s most popular self tanning products. We review self tanning lotions, creams, gels, mousses, milks, towelettes and even spray tanning products. If it makes you tan, we review it!
We tell you which products to use, which to avoid and how much they cost.
And once you’ve found the perfect self tanner, we’ve got tons of helpful articles and videos showing you the best ways to use and apply it!
So keep reading if you want to learn more about self tanning… or go straight to our list of the best self tanners.
What Is Self Tanning And Why Is Everyone Doing It?
Before I get to why so many celebrities and ordinary people around the globe are self tanning, let’s clear up a little confusion about what exactly it is.
In a nutshell, self tanning refers to any product that interacts with your skin to turn it tan.
These products can be in the form of lotions, creams, mousses, sprays, gels, and foam.
Now, keep in mind that “self tanning” can also go by many different names…
I’ve heard it called sunless tanning, spray tanning, airbrush tanning, fake tanning and even UV-free tanning.
Regardless of what you call it, all of the products in these categories basically work in the same way (which I’ll cover in a second).
At this point you’re probably wondering why self tanning has become all the rage? Why do celebrities, and models and people on TV always look so tan?
The answer is pretty simple.
First, it’s a well-known fact that most people look better with a tan. If you check out Hollywood events, modeling shoots, or watch any TV, you’ll notice that everyone has some type of tan.
Now that doesn’t mean they’re all ridiculously dark, but most people you see who’s job it is to ‘look good’ generally have some color (although there are exceptions).
The second reason for the boom in self tanning has to do with health.
Even though virtually everyone wants to be tan, most people now realize that the sun, and more specifically UV radiation, is dangerous.
Study after study has shown that UV radiation (from the sun or tanning beds) causes premature wrinkling of the skin, age spots and even skin cancer.
Raise your hand if you want any of those! What, no takers?
So clearly the best way to 1) make yourself look better, and 2) not ruin your skin or health, is to use self tanning products to get the tan you want.
Not convinced yet? Read our article, “6 Reasons Why Celebrities Use Self Tanning Products“.
Is Self Tanning Safe?
Once people realize all the wonderful benefits that self tanning can do for them, the next question I always get is “Yeah, but is it safe?”
Before I get to the specifics, let me tell you the answer is a resounding, YES!!!
All self tanning products contain one ingredient that is responsible for making the skin turn tan.
It’s called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA).
As for safety concerns, DHA has been approved by the FDA for use in self tanners since 1973. And it’s also approved by Europe’s version of the FDA, the European Medicines Agency.
Further, sunless tanning is recommended by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Dermatology and the Skin Cancer Foundation as a safer alternative to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds.
So is it safe? I’d say so. And so would the scientists and smart people behind the organizations listed above!
In addition to DHA, self tanning products also contain a number of other ingredients that are found in many other cosmetic and beauty products.
These can include botanicals, organics, moisturizing agents, cosmeceuticals, chemical compounds and other commonly-used ingredients.
These, like DHA, have not been found to cause any ill-effects when used as directed…
Bottom line: Self tanning is the safest known way to get a gorgeous tan.
So How Do Self Tanners Work Anyway?
The key to how self tanners work lies in the main active ingredient, DHA.
When applied to the skin, DHA interacts with the amino acids found in the outermost layer of your skin. It sounds gross, but that’s exactly how it works.
It’s the same type of interaction you witness with foods turning brown (think apples and pears when the inside is left exposed to air).
For all you science geeks, DHA is a simple sugar. And simple sugars interact with amino acids to create brown and golden-brown compounds.
This is what gives you the beautiful bronze tan you can get from a good self tanning lotion or cream or any other form these products come in.
Depending on which product you use, results will begin to develop within a few hours. And can last anywhere from 3-7 days.
I Heard These Products Make You Orange And Smelly, Is That Still True?
As long as you use the right products, there is no reason for that “orangey” color and awful smell that used to occur with self tanning.
When these products were first introduced in the 70s and 80s, it’s true that these were problems.
But over the last 50 years, the industry has come a long way!
That orange color people used to get has been replaced with gorgeous shades of tan, brown and golden tan.
The vast improvements come from:
- Better manufacturing processes
- Purer supplies of DHA (the active ingredient)
- Recognition of the need for a lower pH level
- Better complimentary ingredients
- More sensible concentrations of DHA
As for that unpleasant smell that used to come from self tanners, it’s been mostly eliminated by the higher-end products.
There’s no denying that DHA does produce an odor. But as long as the formula you use has masking ingredients and fragrances, you’re not really going to notice it.
A word of caution however.
Most cheap ‘drugstore’ self tanners can still produce a somewhat orange color and terrible smell. It all has to do with the quality of ingredients and the manufacturing process used to make the product.
This is one area where you definitely get what you pay for!
So What Are The Best Self Tanners For 2013?
Once again we’ve put together a comprehensive ranking and review of the best self tanners currently available on the market.
To find the best products, we actually go out and buy all the self tanning lotions, gels, sprays, foams, mousses and creams we can get our hands on. We buy drugstore brands, department store brands, internet brands– you name it, we buy it!
Then we test them on ourselves and test subjects that have different ages, skin types, and complexions.
We test how they smell, how they feel, how quick they dry, and how easy they are to put on.
We test the color produced, how even it is, and how long it lasts.
Then we take a look at the price, the quality of the ingredients and how it’s made.
All these factors are taken into consideration to give each self tanner an overall rating.
Then we take all of our self tanning reviews and data and create the most up-to-date, comprehensive ranking of the best self tanning products available today!
Click here to see our most updated list of the best self tanners.
What’s The Best Way To Apply Self Tanning Lotions and Sprays?
To make sure you get an even, brilliant looking tan, it’s important to follow a few steps when applying these products.
The 3 main steps to a perfect sunless tan include exfoliation, application and cleanup. I know it sounds a little complicated, but trust me, you’ll get the hang of it once you go through the process a few times!
Before you even get started, make sure you have everything you’re going to need right in front of you.
This includes your self tanner of choice, an exfoliator, a little petroleum jelly, a strap or something that allows you to reach your back and finally a few tissues.
Once you’ve got everything together it’s time to get started!
Check out our detailed application instructions on how to self tan. It covers everything you need to know and even has a few secret self tanning tips! You can also download our free one-page guide right here.
How Is Self Tanning Different From Spray Tanning?
As you know by now, there are many different types of self tanning products available these days.
Most self tanning lotions, creams, gels, foams, and mousses are used by millions of beauty seekers in the comfort of their own homes.
But there’s one class of self tanner that can be done at home, in the backyard, or in a salon.
It’s called spray tanning, and a lot of people absolutely love it!
Spray tanning works when a liquid, that contains self tanning ingredients, is (you guessed it) sprayed onto your body.
Now, it can be sprayed from an individual bottle, a mobile airbrush tanning device, or from a booth at many tanning salons.
Getting a spray tan has its own set of pluses and minuses that are a little different from other self tanning products.
Discover more about spray tanning and if it’s right for you.
How Do I Keep Up-To-Date On The Best Self Tanning Products and Techniques?
Well that’s easy.
Visit our site regularly for updates and subscribe to our free e-letter in the upper right-hand corner of this page!
Whenever we think there’s something you need to know about the world of self tanning, we’ll send you a quick, to-the-point email.
Whether we change our rankings, find a great new product or discover a tip that’ll make your tanning life easier, you’ll be the first to know.
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We’d love to have you in our community and want to know what you think!
Emily and Staff