How to Achieve the Perfect Summer Tan with Self Tanner

Ever wonder how to get the perfect summer tan just by using a self-tanner? It is definitely possible! I've got quick and easy tips on how to prep, apply, and maintain a natural-looking tan with sunless tanning products. It's so much easier than you think it is!


Read my previous blog on Spring Break Prep!

How to Achieve the Perfect Summer Tan with Self Tanner - Episode #35


How to get the Perfect Summer Tan Using a Self Tanner

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The Pursuit of The Perfect Tan

The History of Sunless Tanner

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is the active ingredient in most self-tanning products. It has an interesting history that dates back several decades.

The discovery of DHA's tanning properties can be traced back to the 1920s. In the 1920s, a German chemist named Franz Fischer discovered that when DHA came into contact with amino acids in the skin, it produced a brown color. However, at that time, the application of DHA as a tanning agent was not explored further.

Fast forward to the 1950s, when Eva Wittgenstein, a German physician, accidentally spilled DHA on her skin. She noticed that the area of her skin where the DHA had come into contact turned brown. Intrigued by this accidental discovery, Wittgenstein began experimenting with DHA as a cosmetic tanning ingredient.

In the 1960s, Eva Wittgenstein introduced a lotion containing DHA as a safe and effective way to achieve a tan without exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. (See my blog on Protecting Your Skin from UV Rays). This marked the beginning of the commercial use of DHA as a self-tanning ingredient.

Initially, self-tanners containing DHA had a distinct odor and often resulted in an uneven or orange tint. However, advancements in cosmetic chemistry have led to the development of improved formulations over the years. Today, DHA is widely used in the cosmetics industry and is considered a safe and effective ingredient for self-tanning products. DHA-free products are available for those with a sensitivity.

Types of Self Tanners:

Lotion or Cream
Foam or mousse
Spray
Serum
Towelettes or wipes

See a list of the 18 Best Self Tanners of 2023 by clicking  below!

Sunless tanners are available in a variety of formulas including those exclusively for your face; gradual self-tanners; instant tanners; and extra dark varieties, to name a few.

One concern about the use of a sunless tanning product is that you may assume it has SPF or that you have a "base tan" after using it. Neither are true. Self tanners do not protect you from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

Tips on applying Self Tanner

Exfoliate all over, especially the rougher areas like knees and elbows
Do NOT use an exfoliating product with oil as it will impede absorption 
Consider using mits or gloves while applying
Apply a small amount of moisturizer to knees and elbows to avoid hyper pigmentation
Wash the palms of your hands immediately after application and add a small amount of hand cream
Wait the suggested amount of time before: swimming; exercising; getting dressed; getting into bed; showering; or bathing

Final Thoughts...

It's important to note that the results of self-tanning products can vary depending on factors such as skin type, application technique, and the specific product used. It's recommended to read the instructions provided by the manufacturer and do a patch test before applying self-tanners to ensure compatibility and achieve the desired outcome. To me, it's the perfect solution for getting a great looking summer tan without the dangers of sun exposure. 


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Michelle Fox
Michelle Fox

I hope you enjoyed this post. I love sharing new tips and thoughts on "all things beauty", specifically designed to help women over 40 look and feel their beautiful best. Please share any content ideas that you have for this blog in the comments. I appreciate you!