A sun-kissed glow often makes people appear healthier, more toned, and all around more cheerful. But with a tan comes the negative effects associated with UV rays such as skin cancer, wrinkles, and sun poisoning. If you want the confidence that only a sun tan can give you, without the damaging aftereffects, sunless tanners are a great option. Sunless tanners can range in quality and price, so take heed of some tips to help you find the perfect match for your skin and your wallet.
Sunless Tanning Lotions
Sunless tanning lotions are a very popular option because they are normally very affordable and can be self-applied in the comfort of your own home. Very basic self-tanning lotions can be found at your local drug store and can range from $8 to $20, as of this publishing. Neutrogena, Jergens, and Nivea make popular and affordable sunless tanning lotions. If you want to spend a little more to ensure a better quality lotion, Clarins makes a few different tanning lotions, all of very good quality, that range from $30 to $55. Self tanners by Clarins and other better quality products can be readily found in department store beauty departments.
Sunless Tanning Sprays
As sunless tanning lotions, sunless tanning sprays also range in quality and price. The main difference between lotions and sprays is the application process. Whereas lotion is rubbed onto your skin using your hands, sunless tanning sprays are applied via an aerosol spray can. Some prefer this form of application because it is less messy, since your hands do come in direct contact with the tanner, and often less streaky. If you decide a spray is the route to take to bronze your legs, Neutrogena has an affordable, drug store-available spray for less than $10. If money is no object, Lancôme's Flash Bronzer Self-Tanning Body Spray is around $30 and is known for going on smooth and lasting longer than most other sunless tanning sprays.
Foams and Mousses
Foams and mousses are the most recent trend in sunless tanners. Because of their light and airy texture, foams and mousses are less prone to streaking and staining skin. St. Tropez Tanning Essentials Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, running about $40 per 8 oz. bottle, is a well-known bronzing mousse, often endorsed by celebrities and known for its exceptional quality. If this exceeds your budget, L'Oreal and Neutrogena both make affordable tanning mousses.
Professional Sunless Tanning Options
Professional sunless tanning is increasingly more common. Almost every tanning salon offers a sunless tanning option and many beauty salons embrace the trend as well. The most common form of professional sunless tanning is airbrushed tanning. Using an airbrush, a liquid mixture of dihydroxyacetone is applied to the skin. Dihydroxyacetone is the carbohydrate most often derived from plants, and is completely safe. The spray tan application normally takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour and ranges in price depending on the salon. Spray tans are said to typically last about 2 to 4 weeks.