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Sun from the tube self-tanner: Tips for use

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We clarify all questions regarding the application and effects of self-tanners.

Simply apply, and after just one or two hours, the skin has the coveted look - "kissed by the sun". This magic succeeds today more and more perfect. Sticky consistency with unpleasant odor and piebald tinge - all past, because the new self-tanner stuck full of impressive ingredients and thus simultaneously serve the care of the skin. How they work and what you should consider, we answer here.

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What causes the tint?

This is ensured by the tanning agent DHA (dihydroxyacetone), a sugar molecule. It reacts with proteins in the upper skin layer so that brown pigments are formed there. This process takes six to eight hours. In the past, self-tanneries smelled quite unpleasant - that's not the case with modern concoctions anymore. The waterproof tan lasts for a few days and disappears with the natural skinning. However, it may be that dryness occurs. The finest brown pigments (melanoids) are formed, which are superficially distributed like a wafer-thin film.

Damage the products of the skin?

No, because DHA is a substance that occurs in the body itself. However, it can be responsible for making the skin drier because it disturbs the amino acids in their main task of storing moisture. More and more cosmetic companies are therefore using erythrulose in their self-tanneries. This newly discovered sugar works together with the amino acids of the deeper skin layers and improves their moisture binding. He tans slower, but longer lasting and is therefore often combined with DHA. In contrast to the solarium, there is no risk of wrinkles or skin cancer in self-tanners.

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Are there turbo self-tanners?

Normally, the color reaction starts immediately after application, but is visible after one hour at the earliest and only completed after about six hours. The new generation of self-tanners works much faster. The trick: The products work in two steps. They contain special, instant toning pigments whose color is visible immediately after application. In parallel, the DHA becomes active. The higher the proportion, the faster and more intense the tanning process. Normally, about 2 percent contain DHA, in so-called turbo tanning, however, up to 5 percent.

And if the skin remains pale despite the self-tanner?

That can actually happen. Around 10 to 15 percent of German women lack in the skin completely or partially a very special amino acid, which is responsible for the reaction with the tanning agent DHA. A small consolation: If you do not want to do without a softly toned skin, you might prefer bronzing jelly or natural clay terracotta powder.

What is important when applying?

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The best basis for an even and long-lasting tan is a smooth, fine skin. That's why - whether in the face or on the body - always exfoliate before. Dead skin cells are removed so thoroughly. Because the smoother the skin, the more even the tan will be. If you want to tone your legs, you should definitely remove all hairs first. Growing, epilating, shaving is best done in the evening before, then the skin can calm down overnight. But researchers also found out: Decisive for a beautiful tan is a good moisture content of the skin. Such games tan a lot better than dry ones. So do not forget regular creaming. In addition, use different creams for the face and body, since the facial skin is much more sensitive and needs a cream that is tailored to their specific needs.

How do you treat your hands?

Do not forget to wash your hands after application, otherwise the inner surfaces will turn yellow-orange. Do not rinse the back of the hand as much as possible. Or later add a dab of self-tanner and rub between the backs of the hands. Finally, wipe the naturally badly browning parts (insides of the arms, between the fingers) with a damp cloth. Do not shower, bathe or do sports for three hours, otherwise it will be spotty.

What role does the skin type play?

Whether it be a delicate gold tone or a warm cappuccino brown - anything is possible, but for a natural look, the self-tanner should only be a few shades darker than the current skin color. If you have a pale complexion, always choose an extravagant option, then wait and see what happens on the skin. If the tint is too light, repeat everything the next day. To get the color, cream once or twice a week. If the skin shimmers slightly orange, this is an indication of a disturbed acid mantle, for example due to an aggressive shower gel.

What can be done against stains?

Especially the cornea on feet, knees and elbows tends to stain. The thicker the horny layer, the more intense the coloring will be. Therefore, sand these parts extraglatt and rub thick with a moisturizing lotion or cream. That softens the effect. Always wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. If spots or intense browning still appear on the skin, peel again. Then rub with a cotton pad soaked in alcoholic toner. Treat stubborn brown spots several times with a halved lemon. Fruit acid makes the color fade. Take your time: "Piebald" results often only come about because they worked too fast.

Is it possible to use leftovers from last year?

Most manufacturers recommend that you completely consume a once-opened product within six to twelve months. In addition, you should always store self-tanning cool, otherwise the tanning active DHA is ineffective.

Is spray better than cream?

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That's a matter of personal preference. All variants are offered: gel, cream, spray and foam. In any case, you should be careful to use for the face self-tanner with special additives such as aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, olive extract or evening primrose oil for care. Because the skin is here in need of care than on the body. New high-tech sprays are ideal for hard-to-reach areas such as the back, work without rubbing in with your hands and are absorbed quickly.
Our recommendation: For dry skin rich creams or oils are ideal. For oily and combination skin oil-free lotions and gels are recommended. Sprays are well suited for beginners and those in a hurry. Easy to dose: self-tanner cloths for face, neck and décolleté.

Is self-tannered skin less sensitive to sunlight?

No, unless the products contain a sunscreen filter (standing on the tube). But that is rare. Self-tanners only stain the uppermost skin layer. The body's own melanin production, which is responsible for the sunscreen, will not be boosted. Even if the tan tempts to lie exposed in the sun, our skin feels differently. Therefore additionally apply a sunscreen.
What to do, so that nothing rubs off?

Only tighten when the self-tanner is fully retracted. This can take up to 30 minutes - with sprays, towels and gels it's faster. Beware: silk, wool and synthetics usually do not get rid of the typical soiling.

And when it gets spotty?

If brown spots appear despite all caution, they can be brightened up with a scrub. Special scrubs (eg "Exfoliese Body Polisher" by Beaubronz, 180 ml approx. 27 Euro) even remove them completely.

Good to know

What is professional tanning?

Perfect for those who are too impatient or awkward for self-care. The tan is sprayed with an airbrush device targeted and is guaranteed streak-free. Many Hollywood stars swear already, in Germany spray tanning is still new (in the beauty salon, from about 25 euros). The color usually lasts up to nine days.

How to improve the effect?

Like natural tan, artificial keeps longer on supple skin. Rich body lotions moisturize and delay the desquamation. Bodylotions with a low proportion of tanning additionally extend the tint and are therefore very well suited for self-tanning.
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Author:

Astrid Jürgens

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