If you want to be a golden girl this summer - or any time of the year - but don't want to bother with tanning salons or the sun's rays, you're not alone. There are many women (and men!) who are turning away from the damaging UV rays of sun exposure and turning toward sunless tanning lotions that help them achieve the healthy golden glow they desire.
Unlike the old days, when an indoor tanning lotion usually carried the risk of turning orange, today's sunless tanning lotions are much more refined. Dihydroxyacetone - or DHA - is the active ingredient in most lotions, and works by using your own skin's amino acids to create brown melaninoids. Because your skin actually turns tan, the color only lasts about five days - or as long as it takes for your skin cells to slough off. This makes sunless tanning a minor commitment when compared with, for example, changing your hair color. It also gives you the opportunity to experiment and find exactly the right product that works for you.
Even though sunless tanning lotions have vastly improved over the decades, following a few simple guidelines will help ensure that your tan looks natural. Here are five tips to get you started.
1. Prepare Your Skin. Remember that the effect from most sunless tanning lotions lasts only until your skin cells slough off. You want to make sure, then, that you remove all of the dead skin before applying the tanning lotion. Take a shower and use a washcloth to exfoliate your skin, and shave your legs well ahead of the time you'll be applying the lotion.
2. Curb Your Expectations. If you're a freckle-skinned redhead, don't try to achieve the bronze glory of the honey-haired blonde at the beach. Your tan simply won't look natural. If you're fair-skinned or burn easily, start with a light tanning lotion and work your way up to a medium tone. You can also blend a tanning lotion with regular lotion to lighten the color.
3. Work From the Outside In. When applying sunless tanning lotion, start with your legs. Go from the top down, and work quickly. Apply the lotion using a circular motion so it won't streak. Next, apply the lotion to the backs of your hands and your arms. Finally, work the lotion into your torso.
4. Wash Your Hands. Every five minutes during the self-tanning process, make sure to wash your hands. Make sure to scrub your fingernails as well. If you don't, you might end up with orange hands.
5. Mimic a Natural Tan. Use sunless tanning lotion sparingly on the tops of your feet, your neck, and your face. Make sure to blend it in at your ankles, wrists, and neck.
There are many different types of sunless tanning products on the market, from indoor tanning bed lotion to self-applied bronzers. They also come in a variety of applicators, from mousses to fine misting sprays. Some will give you immediate color, but most will darken over the course of several hours. Whichever tanning lotion you choose, you can be assured that you will get the golden glow you seek.
Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web.
Learn more about Sunless Tanning Lotion Tips or Majon's Health and Beauty directory.