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What is Sunless Tanning?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 17, 2024
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Sunless tanning is exactly what the name implies. It is any method of achieving a sun kissed appearance without actually absorbing rays from the sun. Different methods include sunless tanning lotions, tanning beds, mists, airbrushing and an assortment of other options. While tanning beds and other such units technically fall into this category, because they don't include exposure to the sun, they should not be considered harmless. Most contain harmful rays that can burn or otherwise damage the skin.

A safe sunless tanning agent is one of a variety of methods that does not include harmful rays or chemicals; therefore "tanning pills" should also be excluded from this list. If you are interested in a sunless tanning product but find ingredients that you don't recognize, look them up or ask your pharmacist for more information. There are many different types of sunless tanning products available that don't contain harmful ingredients yet still provide the bronzed look you want to achieve. Most are affordable and simple to use, and they make skin appear tanned when they are applied evenly and allowed to dry thoroughly.

Sunless tanning is the perfect option for people who don't tan easily, fair skinned people who burn easily, those who prefer to avoid exposure to the sun and those who want to keep their tan year round. Sunless tanning doesn't require hours of baking in the sun or in a tanning bed; it only requires a quick application of product. Sunless tanning agents are also the perfect way to avoid or blend away tan lines. Best of all, you can enjoy the look of a golden tan without suffering from skin damage in the future.

Other benefits of sunless tanning include certain additives that are good for you, such moisturizers and sunscreens. Rub on some sunless tanner and you can moisturize and protect your skin at the same time. Sunless tanning is the only safe way to tan and today's products are much higher quality than those from the past. No more orange streaks to worry about, just a glowing, golden, sunless tan.

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.
Discussion Comments
By Frances — On Apr 18, 2008

are tanning pills safe to take or is this a gymic? I can take vitamins on my own. Is L-Tyrosine the amino acid that helps bring on melanin?

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