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How Do Self-Tanners Work? Science!

How Do Self-Tanners Work? Science!

17th Aug 2023

Tanning and science are two subjects we may not assume there is a connection between. We like being tan, and even more we like self-tanning without any harmful side effects. We feel more confident and believe that glowing, bronzed skin is more flattering, even slimming to our figures! But did you know that the micro miracle self-tanner performs on our skin is quite literally, thanks to scientific research?

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The Science Behind How Self-Tanners Work

Self-tanning works by using a chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). Don't worry, it's been tested thousands of times in labs and is allowed by the FDA as a color additive in sunless tanning products. When DHA comes in contact with the outermost layer of skin, it reacts with the proteins and amino acids in skin cells to create a brown color within 24 hours of contact. Thankfully, modern research has gifted us with dramatically improved ingredients and highly effective formulations. Fake Bake formulations are painstakingly researched, tested (never tested on animals), and precisely blended to provide a very natural and healthy-looking tan.

Sunless vs Sun - What’s The Difference?

How is self-tanner different than when you're tanning outside in the sunshine? When it comes to tanning in the sun, ultraviolet (UV) rays are responsible for darkening the skin’s pigmentation. Melanin is produced when UV rays penetrate the outer layer of the epidermis and this is what causes our skin tone to change from pale to bronzed. Although getting a natural tan from the sun is possible, it’s important to remember that unprotected exposure can cause skin damage, premature aging, and sun spots, and can even increase your risk of developing skin cancer. So, if you decide to get some sun, make sure you wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even if you have been using a self-tanner.

As Dark As You Want To Be

Although self-tanning products are easy to use, the key to achieving a natural-looking tan is in picking the right shade. Many products will contain different levels of DHA for light, medium, or dark shades. For example, our internationally acclaimed Flawless Liquid Self-Tanner is also available in Flawless Darker Liquid Self-Tan Liquid, for a deeper bronzed tanning effect.

To begin your self-tanning journey, proper preparation before an application is essential for long-lasting results - exfoliating beforehand ensures even coverage, and moisturizing afterward helps lock in color. The best way to apply self-tanner is to apply a thin layer evenly onto clean skin and then use a mitt or brush to blend it in. When applying, start from the bottom up and make sure you blend it properly into areas such as your elbows, wrists, and knees which tend to absorb more product than other areas. Fake Bake thoughtfully includes a foolproof application mitt, to both protect your hands from discoloration and to help with an even, streak-free application. And lastly, always be sure to moisturize your skin afterward!

When it comes to choosing self-tanning products, understanding the science behind tanning will ensure that you get the perfect summer glow every time. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to creating a beautiful self-tan.