Tanning lotions are a wonderful way to gain a beautiful glowing tan minus the harm caused by ultraviolet rays from laying out in the sun or baking in a tanning bed. There are a variety of creams, lotions and sprays that combine dihydroxyacetone, also known as DHA with the top layer of dead skin to form a dark pigment. The tan created by the pigment is temporary because it is only in the uppermost layer of skin.
Avoiding Tan Accidents
Applying self tanners can be tricky, but there are a few tips you can use to achieve a beautiful glow and avoid problems with the end result. First of all, it is important to have your skin prepped before you apply the product. Make sure your skin is exfoliated and free of dry patches. Definitely shave or do any hair removal, such as waxing or plucking before you apply tanner because this will affect the top layer of skin and create an uneven tan if you do it after. Make sure your skin is moisturized, so the tanner will be absorbed evenly. It is important to be aware of the areas of skin that soak up a lot of pigment. These areas include elbows, knees, your hands and the tops and bottoms of your feet. To solve this simply apply extra layers of moisturizing lotion or cream to these areas and avoid your palms and soles of feet. A good tip is to use latex gloves to protect hands and to remain standing while you apply the tanner, so you won't get any on the bottom of your feet.
How to Remove
Sometimes no matter how well we follow instructions, we may not be happy with the results. Whether you don't like the color your skin turned or you somehow ended up with a streaky tan, you may want to get rid of some areas or all of it. If you have just a couple small uneven streaks, try a remedy of applying a bit of natural lemon juice to the area. The natural acid will help diminish the dark pigment. If however you're trying to rid yourself of your entire tan, you'll have a little more work to do. The most effective method is exfoliation, since the pigment is on the top layer of skin. The best method for this is to slather on baby oil and let it absorb into your skin. Then, prepare a warm tub and allow your skin to soak in it for several minutes. Use either a body scrub with a sponge, a loofah or a body brush to slough off the dead skin. Be patient and don't over scrub or cause extreme irritation. It may take a few tries to get all of the tan off, but it is temporary and will fade. The most important step is to keep skin hydrated and exfoliate to return skin to its natural color.
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