How Does Sunless Tanning Lotion Work?


Perhaps you want a suntanned look for just one occasion such as an evening out. Maybe you want something with more even coverage and a longer life. Or, maybe you've looked at all options available in sunless tanning products and decided to get your tan the old-fashioned way, after all. All of this is perfectly fine. If you choose the latter, however, be sure to take measures to protect your skin.

UVB rays, at 290 to 320 nm, and UVA rays, at 320 to 400 nm are the most harmful to our skin. UVB is easier to protect against than UVA, but both cause very real damage. Even when using a sunless tanning lotion, it is usually necessary to use sunscreen. They don't all come with sunscreen added.

Our skin protects us from UV damage by producing melanin, a substance that absorbs the harmful rays in order to protect our DNA. When the body produces melanin, our skin darkens, taking on a darker appearance, and this is how we get a suntan. Sunless tanning lotion works to make us darker by replicating this process using a chemical called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA.)

DHA adds color to skin by interacting with the amino acids in dead skin cells. As these skin cells are shed, the color fades. The effects of sunless tanning lotion last from five to seven days, depending on the quality of the product, application, and the individual's characteristics.

Sunless tanning lotion works particularly well for people with fairer complexions, allowing them to achieve a darker tan than they would through sun exposure.

To get the best application from a sunless tanning lotion, make sure to clean and exfoliate areas where the lotion will be applied first. Apply the lotion in a circular motion, instead of a back-and-forth or brush-like motion. It's often necessary to wait for at least fifteen minutes after application of the lotion, as it can stain or rub off. Lighter application is recommended for areas like knees, elbows, and ankles. It's always a good idea to patch test the product before use. Finally, be aware that some lotions can make some wearers look orange, rather than golden tan.

With sunless tanning lotion, you can go to the beach and not sit in the sun! You will still be able to hit the boardwalk with what should be a flawless tan.


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