Using tanning lotions is a good alternative for women in achieving sunbathed appearance instead of sunbathing. In the September 2010 issue, a study is published in the Archives of Dermatology that more than 10% of teenage girls between ages of 21-28 make use of sunless tanning products. In connection to American women’s use of this type of product, dermatologists and other skin experts furnish research-based answers to common questions frequently asked about the effectiveness of tanning lotions. Here are some of these FAQs about tanning lotions:
Question #1: Why should I use tanning lotions instead of sunbathing?
Answer: Tanning lotions like any other tanning products provide a safer procedure in achieving a tanned appearance because these do not include ultraviolet exposure. Dihydroxayacetone (DHA), which is the active ingredient of tanning lotions, reacts with the dead cells in the skin’s outermost layer, thus temporarily darkening the skin and will result to sunbathed appearance. However, because these tanning products do not contain sunscreen, users must continue to make use of sunscreen with sufficient sun protection factor (SPF) while they stay outdoors.
Question #2: Is Dihydroxyacetone in tanning lotions safe for the skin?
Answer: This DHA, according to the US Food and Drug Administration, is the only sunless tanner that was approved by the government. It was also described by the New Zealand Dermatological Society as a type of 3-carbon sugar which, when applied to the skin, reacts with the amino acids in the epidermis and lead to the darkening of dead skin cells. And because it does not cause any damage to the skin, it is therefore safe as an alternative to sunbathing.
Question #3: What is the proper way to apply tanning lotions?
Answer: Meredith Baraf who is a makeup artist for Victoria’s Secret, gives advice to users to first exfoliate their skin and apply moisturizer before they apply any kind of tanning product. It is said that the effectiveness of tanning lotions depends on the condition of the skin to which the product is applied. This is according to the New Zealand Dermatological Society. Because of this, it is necessary to follow exfoliation with a hydro alcoholic toner so as to remove any soap residue to the skin. Therefore, after moisturizing the skin, particularly the dry areas of the joints, it is advisable to use gloves during the application of the tanning lotion to avoid getting tanned palms as well as fingers.
Question #4: Can self-tanning lotions be used during pregnancy?
Answer: According to the American Pregnancy Association, it is noted that tanning lotions may be the best tanning option among pregnant women. The reason is that, both tanning beds and conventional beach tanning are risky of sunburn, worsened chloasma (the dark spots that appear on the skin during pregnancy) as well as overheating due to raised body temperature. According to Sandra Johnson who is a dermatologist and an expert contributor to BabyCenter.com, the ingredients in tanning lotions will not cause any harm to pregnant women or the developing baby inside them since the effects of the lotions are only superficial.
There are a lot of FAQs regarding the use of a tanning lotion. Some of them have been answered above and is based on a research made by experts.