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How do I Choose the Best Tanning Products?

Diane Goettel
Updated May 17, 2024
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When choosing the best tanning products, it is important to consider the depth of the desired tan as well as how much sun protection the products offer. While having a deep, bronze tan can offer a beautiful, healthy glow, spending hours in the sun or hitting the tanning booth frequently can cause sun damage. Sun damage can cause the skin to wrinkle and become discolored and can also lead to skin cancer. For these reasons, it is important to choose tanning products with both beauty and health in mind. Some people choose to skip the sun and the tanning beds completely and opt instead for tanning products such as sunless tanning lotion and sunless bronzer.

For those who do venture onto the beach or into the tanning bed, consider using tanning products that have at least some sun protection in them. Tanning products that are formulated to offer a level of protection to the skin are labeled with a number that indicates its sun protection factor (SPF). The higher the number, the more protection the product offers. There are, of course, products that work to intensify one's tan instead of protecting the skin from sun damage. These are often called tanning accelerators or tanning intensifiers.

When choosing a sunless product, it is important to find a product that will work well with one's skin tone. There are a number of sunless tanning products that allow for a gradation of depth of color that corresponds with the number of applications. These products range in price and in quality. Sunless tanning products that are of low quality can leave the skin looking uneven in color or may even leave streaks along the skin if the product runs easily. For those who are looking for good at-home sunless tanning products, it is best to pay a bit more for a product that works well.

Another sunless tanning option is the spray tan, which is applied in spas and tanning salons. While it can be difficult to evenly apply sunless tanning products all over one's body at home, a spray tan is applied to the entire body in an even layer. The product may be applied by a staff member or may be applied via jets in a sunless tanning booth. Some sunless tanning products are formulated so that they have a sun protection factor, which means that they help to protect the skin while also deepening its color.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"
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Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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