Beauty News

The secret to a streak-free self tan

Get a natural-looking, healthy glow without damaging your skin under the sun’s harsh rays.

By Nicky Pellegrino
If you love your skin, you won’t be tanning in the sun this summer. There is, in fact, a fast, easy way to fake a golden glow without getting splotches, lines or that nasty self-tan smell.
Are self-tans harmful?
The active ingredient in self-tans is called DHA (dihydroxyacetone). This has long been deemed safe as it works only on the outer cells of your skin. However, in some quarters concerns have been raised that if it enters the bloodstream, there may be health risks. The main issue seems to be inhaling spray tans or using the lotions on compromised skin – for instance conditions such as eczema. It’s also better not to exfoliate immediately prior to applying fake tan as it may make the skin barrier more vulnerable – do it a day or so before instead.
Are organic tans better?
The DHA in organic tans is usually derived from organic sugar cane but it is chemically identical to the DHA in non-natural products, so any potential risks are the same. The difference with organic tans is that the entire formula will be free of synthetic preservatives, fragrance, colour, etc.
Gradual tans or instant?
As we age, we tend to get more creases and crepiness on the skin all over our bodies, which makes it trickier to get a smooth, even finish. Gradual dailies are kinder. They are easy to apply and will also hydrate. The downside is that a tan can take up to five days to develop and even then will be very light. One solution is to apply a darker instant tan and then top up with the gradual product over the following days to extend it.
More or less sunscreen?
Self-tans won’t protect you against UV rays. In fact, there are concerns DHA-covered skin may be more damaged by them. So don’t skimp on the sun block.
Best application tips
Apply lightly using vertical, then horizontal strokes and blending with your fingertips. Start from your ankles and work up so you don’t get lines on the upper part of your body when you bend over. The wrists, elbows, ankles and knees can all be blotch and streak trouble spots, so apply extra lightly
in these areas and blend, blend, blend.
Best tan-preserving tips
Shower rather than bath and pat skin dry rather than rubbing with a towel. Also, moisturise daily with an alcohol-free cream. Fragrance contains alcohol which can strip pigments and leave your tan looking blotchy. Spray it on to your clothes, rather than your skin.
Photographs by: Paul Suesse/ Bauersyndication.com.au

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