Best sunless tanning lotion

What is the best sunless tanning lotion? There is such a huge variety to choose from that it makes it near impossible to pick just one or two as a favorite, never mind finding the absolute best sunless tanning lotion, but here are a few pointers...

  • Decide if you want to acquire a tan with or without the sun's UV rays help
  • Understand how the formula actually works for optimum usage
  • Know which is the best option for your skin type

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Avoiding harmful UV rays?

The great thing about sunless tanning is the fact that you don't have to expose your skin to ultraviolet rays, whether it's from the sun itself or a tanning bed. This is considered great if you have a problem getting or being outdoors in the sun or getting to a tanning bed. Whether or not the UV rays are harmful depends on how you manage your time exposed to them while unprotected.

The negative aspect of avoiding the sun's UV rays altogether is that you miss out on the benefits of Vitamin D, which you acquire when exposed to the sun's UVB rays. Vitamin D is said to provide for so many important health benefits that it is definitely not something to deny your body.

The Skin Cancer Foundation state that "Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from either the sun or tanning machines is a proven cancer-causing agent, and the chief cause of skin cancer" and they are pushing to have tanning beds made illegal. However, my belief is that, just as with the actual sun's rays themselves, careful management of UV ray exposure will allow you the wonderful benefits without adverse effects. Sunless tanning therefore does have its' merits in managing your sun exposure without overdoing your exposure. It also helps to ramp up your tan before venturing out into the sun and finding yourself getting sunburnt.

How do sunless tanning lotions work?

The best sunless tanning lotion will need to provide you with that natural-looking tan you seek by working with ingredients and chemicals that cause your skin to darken. The common ingredient found in sunless tanning lotions is dihydroxyacetone, more commonly known as DHA. This ingredient works with the amino acids on your skin's top layer, the stratum corneum of the epidermis, to create a tanned color without the aid of the sun. (see illustration below). DHA is considered the safe option of all the chemicals used previously in the sunless tanning lotion industry, and thus should be a given when choosing your best sunless tanning lotion. Products without DHA should be avoided for safety reasons.

stratum corneum

Choosing from the Variety of forms

You can find most of the best sunless tanning lotions in many retail outlets or if you want to expand your search results, you'll find tons of products available on the Internet for purchase. You can also find referrals and appraisals on the internet.

But not just any sunless tanning lotion will work for you. Each person has a different experience so it will help to take your time finding just the right product for you and your specific skin type.

A fair skin type will find a gentle approach to tanning over a few days, is easier to manage than a darker skin type, which will handle a fast track to a sun tanned look a whole lot more effectively. Also, check the label to see if the product you're interested in is best for sensitive skin, dry skin, or even skin types with allergies. These will contain specific ingredients that will nourish your skin as well as provide you with the great tanned shade you seek. The more you apply the sunless tanning lotion, or the more often, the darker your tan will turn out, so experiment and see what shade suits you best.

Besides your skin type, some other elements people consider when looking are:

  • Must not be messy or sticky to apply. They must go on easily and evenly and not leave a sticky residue
  • Must contain a pleasant scent or fragrance. Many sunless tanning lotions are decidedly unpleasant in smell, where the chemical smell remains unmasked
  • Usually a spray or lotion are chosen in preference to a gel. Gels tend to have a drying effect so you may end up with streaky, uneven results. If you opt for a gel, make sure it is a top brand to ensure quality application. In general, opting for a spray or lotion will mean they will spread more smoothly and have a more even appearance of color

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