Remember when fake, or self tanning was uncool? Remember when that spray turned your skin orange and you smelled like a walking chemical? Not anymore—those old-fashioned notions have been left buried in the sand.
Now that we’ve all learned more about how harmful the sun’s rays are, and with the advent of much better products, anyone can sport a healthy, natural-looking tan that came from an, ahem, bottle.
Really Rather’s own Staci Layne Wilson tried one of the newest products on the market, Bali Body Self-Tanning Mousse, a vegan-friendly product made in Australia. The easy-to-apply, fast-acting, lightly-tinted mousse is enriched with nourishing oils and 100% natural DHA for smooth, hydrated, and perfectly bronzed skin.
Staci reported, “I applied a few coats to my face, one about every two hours. I noticed the tint starting pretty much right away, and it was fully set the next morning. I washed my face and put on some powder from a compact. When I met friends for coffee that afternoon, I got a compliment on my tan!”
Here are Staci’s before-and-after shots. She used Bali Body’s Self-Tanning Mousse ($29.95) in the Light shade.
After seeing those great results, we got to thinking about why self tanning is better. We came up with 5 reasons:
Fake, Don’t Bake—5 Reasons Why Self Tanning is Better
Most spray-on self tanners show results within just an hour or two. These sunless tanning products contain a substance called dihydroxyacetone, commonly known as DHA. This is absorbed into the top layer of skin cells and causes a chemical reaction that makes them darken.
Sitting in the sun causes skin damage and cellular changes that raise your risk for skin cancer. Even for adults under 40, melanoma rates are on the rise. Dermatologists say that in order to get a natural tan from ultraviolet light, your skin has to be literally injured.
Tanning beds are not safe, either; they emit roughly 12 times more UVA light than natural sunlight and just one indoor tanning session can increase the risk of developing skin cancer: melanoma by 20%, squamous cell carcinoma by 67%, and basal cell carcinoma by 29%, according to the American Academy of Dermatologists).
Tanning bed sessions cost about $20 each and you need about three of them to see results. There are lots of salons that offer spray tans, but the cost is around $30 for just one application. You can buy a product that will give you several tans for roughly the same price—often a lot less.
You have control
Unlike going into the sun or going to a salon, you control the amount of tan you want and you can fine-tune it as the desired darkness develops.
In case you’re wondering how to get yourself tan all over by yourself, here’s a clever hack to get it done: Spread a very thin layer of tanning spray or lotion on some clingwrap then use it to rub your back in the same way you’d use a towel to dry yourself after a shower. Due to the smooth surface of the clingwrap, the product will glide on and viola, you get a flawless finish.
It lasts longer
Spray-on tans last for an average of seven to ten days. The best ways to ensure this are to exfoliate your skin beforehand; take short, cooler showers; moisturize with oil-free lotion; and top up with light touchups.
–Staci Layne Wilson