Every day, millions of dead skin cells are sloughed off or worn away from the surface of your skin. In fact, every 35 to 45 days, you have an entirely new epidermis. This is why tans from sunless- or self-tanning lotions will gradually fade — as the dead cells are worn away, so is your tan. For this reason, most of these products suggest that you reapply the sunless- or self-tanner about every three days to maintain your tan.
Although gels, lotions or sprays that contain DHA are said to be the most reliable and useful, there are dozens of other types of products on the market. Tanning accelerators — lotions or pills that usually contain the amino acid tyrosine — claim that they stimulate and increase melanin formation, thereby accelerating the tanning process.
Hot Tips for Proper Application!
Wait AT LEAST 15 minutes before getting dressed (remember that self-tanner can stain clothes). Do not exercise or swim for at least three hours.
If you make a mistake and end up with streaky or dark areas of skin, consider using an exfoliant such as 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Liquid over those spots. Then, in the morning, manually exfoliate those areas with a wet washcloth. This should rub off any uneven stripes. Take special care with problem areas.
As an option for your hands (which can be particularly tricky to get looking natural) apply self-tanner as you would a moisturizer, but then quickly wipe your palms off on a slightly soapy washcloth. Then take a Q-tip dipped in cleanser, eye-makeup remover (one that is not greasy so it doesn’t spread or smear), or nail polish remover and carefully use it to wipe around the nails and cuticle area and between your fingers. You can also use a makeup sponge to apply self-tanner to the back of your hands, tops of your feet, temples, and hairline. By holding the sponge deftly between two fingers, you only need to worry about preventing this small area from changing color.
Skin-care products such as AHAs, BHA, topical scrubs, Retin-A, and topical disinfectants can affect the self-tanner’s action on your skin or even eliminate the color by exfoliating the surface skin cells (self-tanners only interact on the surface of skin). It is best not to apply these products the evening you apply a self-tanner. However, if you must do so, wait at least two to three hours before you do.
Reapply self-tanner as you feel the need. Generally it will start fading in about three to four days as the surface layers of skin shed.
It is important to tan correctly and we urge you to come find out more about self tanning! Learn about the common mistakes made and gather hot tips of looking totally fabulous!