Author: Alfred J.James
The popularity of self-tanning products is surging, showing that Americans are wising up about sun safety. They're putting their money where their skin is. Skin takes a lot of wear and tear, so it naturally regenerates itself. Every 35-45 days the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, is completely replaced. Since skin pigment is found in this upper layer, any natural or added pigment will be sloughed away in about one month's time.
This is why natural tans fade and why many self-tanning products recommend youre-apply the product every few days to maintain your tan. Self-tanning products, also called ''sunless'' tanning lotions,contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a colorless sugar that interacts with dead surface cells in the epidermis, staining the skin darker. The effect is temporary, because as the dead cells naturally slough off, the color fades, disappearing within aweek unless the lotion has been reapplied.
That's a lot more healthful than a suntan, however, because while suntans also start fading after a few days, the harm done to the skin is permanent. Getting a suntan breaks down the DNA in skin cells, but using self-tanners causes no such damage. At worst, sunless tanning products present a minimal risk of irritant or allergic reactions.
1. Self-tanning takes time. Allow AT LEAST a half hour,although an hour would be best. But don’t be discouraged; itwould still take longer to get the same amount of color from the sun and with self-tanners there is absolutely no risk of wrinkles, skin cancer, or sunburn!
2. Take a quick shower or bath (don’t soak) and exfoliate yourskin, either with a washcloth or body scrub. Don’t overscrub,but do pay extra attention to your knees, ankles, feet, elbows,and neck. This will help achieve a uniform appearance sinceself-tanners grab on to dry surface skin cells, and you mayhave more dead, thickened skin cells in certain areas. Aftershowering and completely drying off, apply a thin layer oflightweight moisturizer over the areas where you will beapplying self-tanner. This will help the self-tanner glide onwithout clinging to dry patches. A little extra moisturizer over ankles, knees, and elbows can prevent those areas from looking patchy. I have seen some recommendations to mix self-tanner with your moisturizer, but I advise against thisbecause it will encourage streaking (unless you can preciselymix them which isn’t easy) plus it will take longer for theself-tanner to absorb and dry. Perspiration also will make self-tanners streak, so take a coolshower or bath to keep from sweating. Your skin must becompletely dry to get the best results. Do not apply self-tanner in a steamy, hot bathroom or on a humid, hot day(unless your home is air-conditioned).
3. Ideally, you should apply the self-tanner while naked, but you can also wear an old bathing suit (one you don’t plan towear outside) to help determine where you want your tan line toend. Either way, have a game plan of where you want to stop andstart the color. (Do you want tan armpits? What about placeslike your heels, hands, and ears?) Remember that self-tanners will stain clothing until they completely absorb into the skinand take effect on the skin cell. Applying self-tanner on your back requires a friend with ahelping hand, although you can use a long-handled paintbrush(note that this poses some issues of potential dripping and uneven application if you are not able to blend the product in).
About The Author: Self-tanning products, also called''sunless'' tanning lotions, contain dihydroxyacetone. Find outabout Self Tanning at http://SelfTanning.ewhy.info
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