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Why Did My Self-Tanner Turn Green?

Why Did My Self-Tanner Turn Green?

16th Nov 2023

Have you ever opened a container of your favorite Fake Bake® self-tanning product and found that it had turned green? Why did that happen?! Don’t worry — it’s not unusual, for a number of reasons we will explain in this post.

Sunless Tanner Ingredients Can Go Green

So, why exactly does your self-tanner turn green? There are a few factors. First, it's all about Fake Bake® skin-loving ingredients. Our products are made with natural ingredients, which means they have a shorter shelf life compared to those with preservatives like parabens. The base color of some sunless tanners is green, which is used to offset orange hues. Our self-tanners contain a key ingredient called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA is a colorless sugar that interacts with the amino acids found in the top layer of your skin. This reaction forms melanoidins, which give your skin that Flawless bronze hue. DHA does not heat up, which can accelerate breakdown. However, DHA can have a tendency to react with certain compounds, causing the infamous green tint.

Watch The Expiration Date And Storage

It's important to know that our tanning products, like any other product, do expire. When they reach their expiration date, they become less effective and turn green. Use your products within ten to twelve months for best results. Proper storage is also key to avoiding a green tanner. The products can oxidize when stored improperly. Keep your product in a cool, dark place. You can also refrigerate your self-tanner to extend its shelf life.

Other Factors That Turn Self-Tanners Green

Extreme temperatures and exposure to sunlight or heat can all cause your product to turn green. The bronze guide color in your tan is made up of red, yellow, and blue. When the red color oxidizes, it leaves behind blue and yellow, which creates that undesirable green color. But don't worry, it's just the bronzer that turns green, and it's temporary.

Another factor contributing to the green tint in self-tanners is the pH level of your skin. When your skin's pH is on the more acidic side, it can react with DHA to produce greenish undertones. Factors such as sweating, excessive exercise, and even some skincare products can alter your skin's pH, making it more prone to this reaction.

Finally, DHA is finicky and does not play well with other ingredients. Certain ingredients in deodorants, perfumes, moisturizers, and makeup can react with your fake tan and cause it to turn green. Exfoliating and cleansing your skin before applying the tan can help prevent this.

How To Prevent A Green Self-Tan

We don't recommend using your sunless tanner if it's expired or leaning toward green. Honestly, no one wants to look like Shrek! If you accidentally use an expired product or your self-tanner goes through a chemical reaction, don’t worry, you are not permanently green. Always taking these steps will minimize the green effect:

1. Shower Before Applying Self-Tanner. Start with a clean slate. Shower before applying self-tanner to remove any residue from chlorine, skincare products, or sweat.

2. Exfoliate. Exfoliating your skin before self-tanning can help ensure an even application and reduce the likelihood of the green tint. This removes dead skin cells that might react with DHA. Fake Bake® Coconut Oil Exfoliating Wipes are highly recommended!

3. Avoid Chlorine Exposure. If possible, avoid swimming in chlorinated water immediately after applying self-tanner. If you must take a dip, rinse off thoroughly post-swim and reapply your self-tanner as needed.

4. Choose the Right Product. Investing in a high-quality self-tanner will decrease the chances of an inferior formula causing a green reaction. Try our best-selling Flawless® line for a gorgeous golden tan.

5. Moisturize. Keeping your skin well-hydrated can help maintain a more balanced pH level and reduce the likelihood of the green reaction.

By following these tips, you can confidently rock your sun-kissed glow without any unwanted surprises. Say goodbye to green skin and hello to a beautiful, natural-looking self-tan! Learn more in our FAQs and contact us with any questions about our self-tanning products.