Don’t live near a beach? Never ending cloudy weather forecasted? Want to look like a bronze goodness, or at least a vacationer from some tropical getaway? You can choose to do it yourself with a commercial spray-tan product or by heading to a sunless tanning salon. Either way, optimal results depend on careful planning and awareness of what the ‘tanning’ process does to your skin.
How Do Sunless Tanners Work?
All tanning solutions contain a simple sugar molecule–dihydroxyacetone (DHA). It occurs naturally as a metabolic intermediate, and can be purified from plants. DHA reacts with the amino groups of proteins in the outermost stratum corneum layer of skin to form colored products that sit on the skin’s surface. The reaction of different amino acids gives slightly varying shades of brown to yellow color and may vary from person to person. Since the stratum corneum cell layer eventually sloughs off after 3-10 days, that’s how long you can expect the color to last.
1. Prepare for ‘Bronzing Day’
Prepare your skin for sunless tanning by doing all of the things that will make your skin cells slough off more quickly: Shave and wax to remove undesired hair; visit the gym for an aerobic workout, since heavy sweating after self-tanning invites streaking; arrange for a manicure and/or pedicure prior to tanning; and, as with any new cosmetic, test the tanning product on a small area of skin to make sure you don’t have a reaction.
2. Check the ‘Bronzing Day’ Action List
- Gently exfoliate your skin, paying special attention to the neck area, knees and elbows. MEG 21 Bright and Clear Brightening Exfoliating Scrub uses ultrafine grape seed powder to gently slough off dead cells and leave a smooth, polished skin surface for the tanning solution.
- Avoid using moisturizers, makeup, perfume, powder and deodorant. These block the tanning process. Keep your jewelry at home.
- Plan the tanning procedure or appointment late in the day so you can go home in dark colored, loose clothing and enjoy a leisurely evening wearing minimal clothes. The bronze color will take about 6 hours to develop, and you can bathe after about 12 hours.
3. Keep that Bronze Glow
Moisturize your skin to maintain your bronze glow as long as possible. MEG 21 with Supplamine Advanced Formula contains shea and cocoa butters to leave skin soft and fully hydrated. When showering, use a gentle unscented body wash cleanser such as MEG 21 Moisturizing Cleanser and carefully blot (not rub) skin dry afterwards. Avoid exfoliants, cosmetic brushes, scrubs or any cleansers with beads. And don’t forget, even though you look tanned, your skin still needs sun protection. Always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen if you go outside in the sun.