How Self Tan Works

It took me a while to jump on the self tan train in the beginning, but when I finally did it completely changed my world. I had never looked into self tanning at all and thought in my mind that it wasn’t safe to use. After a few changes in my life I realized that not only was I too busy to go spend hours in the sun, but my skin also couldn’t pick up a natural tan as easily as it used to. So if you’re skeptical like I was, this post will explain exactly how self tan works and why it’s totally safe!

The quick answer is that most self tanners include an ingredient called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA is sourced from plants like sugar beets and sugar cane. It reacts with the amino acids in the dead skin cells to temporarily change the color of your skin. DHA is also what is responsible for that disturbing “self tan” smell that you might experience with most self tanning products.
If you love seeing some fresh color on your skin, self tanning is the safest option available. It’s better than sunbathing outside because self tanning doesn’t go as deep into the skin as sun rays. However, that’s not to say that you should avoid the sun at all costs because you still need natural Vitamin D and sunshine helps lift your mood. Just keep it in moderation! Most self tanning products don’t include any type of SPF or sun protection, so that still needs to be applied before any outdoor activities.

The reaction that DHA has with the skin cells is why it’s so important to exfoliate before you tan. Not only will it provide you with a more smooth and even result, it will also help extend the wear time of the tan before those reacted skin cells shed away. Most self tans will fade after about four days, depending on the formula and color.
Once you try self tanning, you’ll be hooked. It’s like magic! And let me tell you, there’s nothing like getting a fresh tan while sitting around the house during a thunderstorm or in the middle of Winter. If you’d like to learn more about self tan application, you can check out this post where I shared some of my best secrets for achieving the most natural looking tan!

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it using one of the buttons below. If you have any other questions, leave them for me in the comments. Have you tried self tanning before? What is your favorite tanning product?

XO ♥ Christina ♥

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