Fact Checked

How Do I Choose the Best Self-Tanning Lotion?

Christina Edwards
Christina Edwards

Most experts recommend you choose a self-tanning lotion based on your skin color. A lotion that gives you a gradual tan will usually look more natural, but there are also lotions that will give you a tan quickly. You should also choose a self-tanning lotion that is formulated for your skin type, and one that will help protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun. The best self-tanners are also usually the ones that are easy to use.

Self-tanning lotions usually contain dihydroxyacetate (DHA), which is a type of sugar. When the DHA is applied to the skin, a chemical reaction occurs. This results in a darkening of the outermost layer of skin, the stratum corneum.

Self-tanning lotion.
Self-tanning lotion.

If you have very fair skin, most experts recommend using a self-tanning lotion with less DHA. Using a product that is not designed for your skin tone can produce an unnatural looking tan. It could also possibly cause your skin to turn orange. A self-tanning lotion that is formulated to produce a deep tan or a dark tan typically contain more DHA. Individuals with darker skin tones should use these types of self-tanners.

The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of skin.
The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of skin.

Before choosing a self-tanning lotion, you should also decide whether you want a gradual tan or a dramatic tan. Some tanning lotions are formulated to produce a gradual, natural looking tan, and they are usually applied daily. It will often take a few days to a week to see any results. Other self-tanning lotions produce a tan more quickly, within a couple of hours or a day.

Many self-tanning lotions are designed for a certain skin type. Some are designed for normal skin, for instance, while others are designed for sensitive skin. Self-tanners with extra moisturizers are good for individuals with very dry skin. Non-greasy formulas are also available, and these are best for individuals with oily skin.

Protecting your skin from the sun's rays is also important. The ultraviolet rays that are emitted by the sun can damage your skin, if you are not careful. You should look for a self-tanning lotion with a high sun protection factor (SPF).

You should also read the directions on a self-tanning lotion bottle before you purchase it. Some sunless tanning lotions are easier to use than others. For instance, after applying some lotions, you are required to wait for several minutes before getting dressed. Other lotions may only require that you wait for a few moments.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Self-tanning lotion.
      By: caimacanul
      Self-tanning lotion.
    • The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of skin.
      By: Deyan Georgiev
      The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of skin.