Archive for the ‘Skin Cancer’ Category

How to Maintain a Sunless Tan Without Exposure to UVA and UVB

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

It does not matter whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall men and women of all ages want to look and feel suntan. During the winter months our skin lightens from the lack of vitamin D that the sun provides for us naturally. We start looking pale. There are products that you can use to keep that suntan glow. This article is written as a guide on products that are good picks for maintaining a sunless tan through the fall and winter. These products can be found in stores like Walmart, Walgreens, Target, Victoria’s Secret, makeup counters and online.

Get Your Skin Ready
The first thing you need to do before you buy any sunless tan product is to make sure that your skin is healthy. All the sunless tanning products in the world are not going to help you look and feel better if your skin is not healthy. When we age our skin lightens in color. To keep that healthy suntan look we need to have circulation in our skin. Cells renew faster in your face than the rest of your body.

I would start with exfoliating your skin, especially the dry areas, to remove dead skin cells. I would also shave your legs the day before. After I shave my legs I always put moisturizer on them and they sometimes tingle depending on the brand of moisturizer I use. Give your hair follicles a day to heal before you use a sunless tanner to prevent any burning sensation. You should always do a spot test before you apply a sunless tanning product all over your body. This will help assure that you are not allergic to the product or that your skin is not sensitive to the product.

I suggest using rubber gloves or a self-tan application mitt when applying the tanning product to avoid discoloring your palms. Shake the bottle then massage the product in using a circular motion and apply evenly. Wait ten minutes before putting your clothes on to make sure the product is dry.

What Self-Tanning Products Should I Use?
Sunless tan products include items like bronzers, self-tanners, lotions, gels, sprays, mists, mousses, foams, towelettes, oils, powders, makeup and sticks similar to deodorant sticks. Lotions go on smoothly and last longer than the sprays, gels dry faster, sprays are popular but harder to use, and mousses do not contain much moisturizer. The towelettes are convenient and exfoliate.

Top 3 Best Reviewed Products on Consumer Research
St. Tropez Self-Bronzing Mousse, contains glycerin and aloe for added moisture. No bad smell. Best applied in the evening and washed off in the morning. Product comes with a free application mitt. Instant natural color, easy to apply and dries quickly. It can be purchased on Amazon 8 fl. oz. for $29.99. Other websites sell the product for $42 to $42.99.

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, best gradual sunless-tanning lotion. Looks natural and does not streak. It smells bad, takes 10 minutes to dry and three days to see a difference. It can be purchased on Amazon 4 fl. oz. for $5.30. Other websites sell the product for $9.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad for Body, the wipes claim to exfoliate, tan and moisturize. The color looks natural and lasts a week. This product extends the life of the tan. No strong odor. When used on fair skin color can turn orange. It can be purchased on Amazon 8 wipes for $45.00. Other websites sell the product for $35.99 to $49.

Sunless Tanners Runners Up include: Jergens Natural Glow & Protect Daily Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 20 4 fl. oz. for $9, Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel 4.2 fl. oz. for $35, Nature’s Gate Glow Lotion 16 fl. oz. for $14, Tarte Brazilliance 5.5 fl. oz. for $37.

Sunless Tanners: Reviews.

Other brands that are proven to be the most effective at helping people maintain a tan without exposure to UVA and UVB
I went to Walmart to do my research. The Walmart store brand is Equate. I found four Equate products that compare to St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing and they are Self-Tan Bronzing Lotion with Aloe Vera 4 fl. oz. for $7.98, Self-Tan Bronzing Spray for a natural-looking golden tan 6.7 fl. oz. for $7.98, Self-Tan Foaming Mousse golden color, never orange, instant color 4 fl. oz. for $7.98, Self-Tan Flawless Legs Spray for airbrushed looking legs and a natural looking tan 2.5 fl. oz. for $7.98. Walmart Equate brand also had a Tan Applicator Mitt that can be hand or machine washed in cool water for $4.48. There was a Flavours Sunless Tan Corrector that corrects self-tanner mistakes 6 fl. oz. for $8.97.

Walmart carried Loreal Bronzers in lotions, gels, mists, moisturizers and towelettes ranging in price from $8.47 to $9.47. Neutrogena came in build a tan gradual sunless lotion where you control your shade 6.7 fl. oz. for $8.97. Neutrogena also had micro mist airbrush sunless tan in a medium and deep shade 5.3 fl. oz. for $9.87. Coppertone Sunless Tanning came in a gradual tan moisturizing lotion for a flawless natural-looking tan you control 9 fl. oz. for $7.67. Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning came in a lotion and a mist ranging in price from $6.44 to $6.67. There was Ocean Potion SunCare Tanning Safe Bed xtreme tanning xcelerator spray gel with instant bronzer 8.5 fl. oz. for $6.47 and xtreme tanning intensifier lotion with instant bronzer 8.5 fl. oz. for $6.67. There was a new Salon Formula EG European Gold Dark Tanning that came in bronzers, lotions and a dual chamber product that ranged in price from $5.47 to $9.97. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs instant spray-on makeup, dries in 60 seconds, came in shades tan glow, medium glow and deep glow 4.4 fl. oz. for $11.74.

Main Product found in all Sunless Tanning Products
Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is a safe sugar found in all sunless tanning products. DHA interacts with dead cells in the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, to produce a temporary darker skin color, a sunless tan. The FDA has approved dihydroxyacetone for external use to the skin, but they have not approved the use of this product near the eyes, mouth or nose. DHA has an odor that people smell when they use the sunless tanning products.

Are sunless tanning pills safe?
Avoid sunless tanning pills because they are unsafe. They contain the color additive canthaxanthin, which can cause your skin to turn orange or brown and cause hives, liver damage and impaired vision.

Sunless tanning: What you need to know.

How to Maintain Your Tan
Once you achieve your sunless tan a good way to keep it is to moisturize every day. Swimming in chlorinated pools will fade your tan faster. Chlorine is bleach. To maintain your color you need to reapply the product once a week. For areas of skin, like wrinkles, that are darker than other areas you can apply hydrogen peroxide, baking soda or whitening toothpaste to lighten them to help achieve an even tan.

Sunless tanning products are not better than the natural sun but I would think they are better than sitting under a tanning bed, which exposes you to UV light. These products work in two ways: you can wash them off with soap and water and they can stain your skin and only come off as cells renew.

What is UVA and UVB?
Earlier I stated DHA interacts with dead cells in the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, to produce a temporary darker skin color, a sunless tan. Melanocytes are in the outermost layer of your skin. When melanocytes are exposed to UVB, short wave ultraviolet, they produce the pigment, melanin. When melanin is exposed to UVA, longer wave ultraviolet, it oxidizes or darkens. This reaction is your skins way of protecting itself from too much UV light.

Most of these sunless tanning products do not contain sunscreen and do not protect against sunburn. To reduce your risk of skin-aging, skin cancer and other harmful effects use sunscreen, wear protective clothing and limit sun exposure when using these products. Products that contain sunscreen are only effective for a couple of hours and have to be reapplied.

Self-Tanning Foods
A British study found that people who ate the most fruits and vegetables had golden skin that was rated healthier looking than when they had a suntan. When you eat a lot of carotenoid rich produce like carrots and plums many of those excess carotenoids are stored in the fat just beneath your skin, where their pigments peek through and give you a healthy glow that mimics a tan. It takes about two months of a produce-heavy diet to get a golden sunless tan. Experts recommend eating at least five servings of produce a day to get the effects. I have included the link below if you would like to read the study.

Resources for Further Reading:
University of Nottingham (2011, January 12). Eating vegetables gives skin a more healthy glow than the sun, study shows. ScienceDaily.
Carotenoid and melanin pigment coloration affect perceived human health.