Suntans make us look better, no doubt about that. And when we look better, it’s no secret that we also feel better. But sun worshippers beware. Unless you’ve been living under a rock someplace, you know all the dangers and down sides to UV rays – from deadly skin cancers to wrinkles, brown spots and dried, weather beaten skin. Enter Sunless Tanners.

Lotion and spray sunless tanners are applied directly to the skin. These products can give you a safe, beautiful tan without the inherent dangers of direct sunlight. Today dye ingredients have been perfected to yield a rich, natural tan indistinguishable from those obtained from the sun. But you need to use them properly and exercise a few precautions.

  • The surface of your skin needs to be smooth. Otherwise the self-tanner will stain those clumped surface cells darker than the rest of your skin. To get that smooth surface, exfoliate regularly with a glycolic exfoliant to rid your skin of uneven, dead surface cells. (Exfoliating is good for the skin whether using a sunless tanner or not, but particularly important if you do.)
  • Test sunless tanning products on a small patch of skin before applying it to the entire body, to avoid an allergic reaction or rash.
  • Wear protective garments or gear over the eyes, mouth and nose while applying sunless tanning products. Avoid inhaling the fumes or absorbing them through mucous membranes.
  • If using a spray-on tanner, as with any aerosol product, (antiperspirants, insect repellants, etc.), wait two minutes after applying before going near an open flame. 
  • If you have sensitive skin, eczema or other dermatological conditions, consult your dermatologist or other skin care professional to see if one of these tanners is safe for your skin.

Look great while having fun this summer.

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  1. Pingback: Summer Tans - Sacha Obaid, MD

    • Hi Dr. Obaid,
      Although I wrote this article some time ago, it’s just a relevant today so I’m glad you are passing along this sound advice to your patients.

      Lois W. Stern

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