How do tanning lotions work

Use Top Tan self-tanner like a pro

Self-tanner conjures a golden shimmer on the skin and sun on the mind. However, the correct handling of the tube tan has to be learned. With these professional tips, orange spots, stripes and edges can no longer spoil your complexion.

A sun-kissed complexion conceals tired dark circles and sallow expressions, but it also has downsides. By now everyone knows about the danger of ultraviolet radiation. Dermatologists and beauticians therefore agree: it is better to use a false tan from a tube than on sunburned skin with wrinkles. Self-tanners are the healthy alternative to risky sun kisses.

However, the correct handling of the tube tan needs to be learned. Because even the best self-tanner won't make you happy if you use it incorrectly. With these tips it works with the sun out of the tube.

Smooth basis: shave, peel, cream before the self-tanner

1 An even tan with self-tanners can only be achieved if the skin is properly prepared. It should be as smooth as possible so that the suntan lotion can also move in and work evenly. Before using the tube tan, you should therefore thoroughly depilate and exfoliate your body.

Before applying the self-tanner, it is advisable to apply a thin layer of moisturizer to the skin and allow it to be absorbed well. The self-tanner can not only be spread better on the moisturized skin, it is also absorbed more evenly. The moisturizing lotion evens out dry areas of the skin and thus creates a complexion that is uniformly absorbent. If you want to save time, get a concentrated self-tanner concentrate and mix the drops into the body lotion (e.g. Clarins Addition Concentré Éclat Corpse, Collister Body-Legs Magic Drops).

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Treacherous areas: Apply self-tanner to the ankles, knees and elbows

2 The fact that the tanning result sometimes looks dappled with self-tanners is due to the cornification of the skin that occurs in places. The thicker the horny layer, the darker the self-tanner looks. In places that have a thicker horny layer, are dry or flaky (e.g. elbows, knees, heels), unsightly stains often appear. Light cornifications are removed by a previous peeling.

However, heavily calloused areas can hardly be removed. Caution is advised here when applying self-tanners. You should therefore only use sparing amounts of the tanning lotion on the elbows, heels or other keratinized areas of the skin or - even better - mix the tube tan with a dollop of moisturizing cream so that it does not work in full intensity, but leaves only delicate results. Tip: To prevent too much self-tanner from building up on the joints, you should always go over it again with a damp cotton pad at the end.

Also read: We have tanning tips for every skin type.

Hairy affair: self-tanner on the face

3 How to use self-tanner correctly so needs to be learned! Uneven tanning results often occur on particularly hairy parts of the body, such as the eyebrows, with fine hairs on the face, but also on the forearms. It is best to avoid the eyebrows, like the hairline, when applying the self-tanner and protect them from the edges with a moisturizer. In many other places, however, contact with the tube tan cannot be avoided. To make sure that there are no stains, wipe the areas with a soft handkerchief about three minutes after applying the lotion.

Also read: Which bronzer suits your skin type best and how to apply it correctly.

But it is not only the fine hairs that are a problem on a self-tanned face; when choosing a self-tanner, you should always make sure that it is suitable for sensitive facial skin. Therefore, it is better to choose self-tanning products that have been specially developed for the face. These are usually not that greasy and do not contain any penetrating oils that could irritate your eyes. If you have sensitive skin, it is also important to use self-tanning products that do not contain any fragrances or alcohol as much as possible.

After tanning: wash your hands!

4 The hands are often drier and keratinized than other parts of the body due to their daily strain. In addition, when you apply self-tanner, you come into particularly intensive contact with the coloring lotion. After using self-tanner, hands should therefore be washed particularly thoroughly so as not to leave any stains or marks.

Self-tanner residues often get stuck between the fingers and under the nails - wash particularly intensively here. Or get yourself latex gloves or a so-called "tanning mitt" right away. Many manufacturers now offer self-tanning gloves that not only protect your hands, but also achieve a more even result.

Freshly painted! Note the exposure time

5 Like any other cream, the self-tanning lotion also needs a certain amount of time to be completely absorbed by the skin. This period should be strictly adhered to, especially with self-tanners. So pull for 10 to 20 minutes after the Apply self-tanner no clothes on. Excess Tanning lotion could get stuck on the laundry and discolor it.

In addition, when it comes into contact with clothing, irregularities in the tanning result sometimes occur. In order for the tan to develop well, you shouldn't shower or swim for the next eight hours if possible.

A self-tanned back can also delight

6 Some parts of the body, such as the back or shoulder blades, are difficult to reach when applying self-tanner. Clever cosmetic brands have come up with simple tricks to ensure that the tanning result is even. Self-tanners have also been available for spraying for a long time (see photo series).

Self-tanner sprays distribute a gentle spray mist that spreads evenly over the body and leaves a uniform tan result - on every part of the body.

Think about tanning goal

7 There is of course a bit of truth in every cliché. The stereotype that self-tanners look unnatural is partly true. At least if you've chosen a self-tanner that doesn't suit your skin type at all. Less is often more.

There are now self-tanners in many different shades and with different tanning goals. If you have light and pale skin, you should therefore choose a light self-tanner, while medium and darker skin types are allowed to get a little darker. Whether your skin type is warm or cold also plays a role. Here it is important to try out different products.

Also read: With these tips you can enjoy your tanned skin for longer.

Correctly dose self-tanner

8 The tan achieved is also a question of the dose. Work your way up slowly instead of trying to achieve too much too quickly. You have to know that there are so-called instant self-tanners that make the skin appear tanned immediately, but these are not sustainable because the tan is washed off again with the next shower.

Most self-tanners develop the tan over time. That means you have to wait three to four hours before you see the actual result. In addition, it is advisable to apply the self-tanner several times a week at the beginning (about two to three times) until the desired tan is achieved. Later, once a week is usually sufficient to preserve the tan. It is best to apply a body lotion every day and treat yourself to a light body peeling twice a week.

Otherwise, the following applies when dealing with a tube tan: Do not hide your freshly painted complexion. Self-tanned skin wants - and can - be seen!

Oops! Remove the self-tanner again

A self-tanning accident can happen to anyone. Don't worry and go for a relaxed swim. This causes the uppermost horny layer of your skin to swell and undesirable traces of self-tanning, such as edges or spots, can be removed more easily with a peeling. Lemon juice helps with stubborn cases.

Cover picture: Unsplash

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