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Ask Dr. Schultz | Skin Care Guides | The Ultimate Guide to Sunless Tanning

The Ultimate Guide to Sunless Tanning

Do you look and feel better when you have a tan? You’re not alone. Even some of the most skin-conscious people, dermatologists included, agree. But a tan is a major sign of skin damage, which can ultimately have dangerous results. Our summer secret for glowing, radiant tan skin is also our safest suggestion: self-tanner.

Here’s how sunless tanners work. The formula temporarily stains the dead cells on the surface of your skin. When applied, the active ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA) reacts with the skin’s surface and temporarily simulates a suntan. These lotions, creams, and sprays are able to provide you with glowing skin without harmful UV rays.

Before kicking off your sunless tanning routine, here are some tips to get you started.

Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate

Dr. Schultz touts the benefits of daily exfoliation: smoother, softer, brighter, more radiant-looking skin. But there’s another benefit you should know about if you want an even tan. Glycolic exfoliation eliminates dead skin cells that create an uneven skin surface. By evening out your skin, self-tanner won’t streak or clump, making your tan appear too dark or splotchy. Dr. Schultz recommends using BeautyRx’s Daily Exfoliating Body Lotion a gentle, yet effective body exfoliant, before you tan.  

Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen

Just because your skin is tan, doesn’t mean it's okay to skip the sunscreen. The color that you get from self-tanners does not protect you from the sun. It is still important to keep sunscreen application as the basis of your skin care regimen. We recommend using sunscreen with SPF 15 to 50 (like Solar Defense Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50) every day to prevent sun damage.

Stay Out of the Tanning Salon

Staying out of the tanning salon no longer has to mean forgoing tan skin. “Tans from UV rays, whether from the sun or in a tanning salon, are dangerous and promote premature skin aging like wrinkling, brown spots, and that awful weather-beaten look as well as causing deadly skin cancer,” said Dr. Schultz. In addition to the signs of aging skin, melanoma can be directly attributed to use of tanning salons.

Self-tanners are the best of both worlds, allowing you to have radiant, glowing skin all while avoiding aged skin or skin cancer. The easiest tan, just from a bottle.

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