What is in Self-Tanner? (Answered)

Self-tanners are really popular as a means to get that kissed-by-the-sun look without having to expose your skin to the sun’s harsh rays long enough to get a tan the old-fashioned way. These products are much safer for use than tanning beds or intentionally burning your skin in the sun during the summer to get a tan.

Many people are not aware of what is in self-tanner, however. Knowing what kinds of ingredients should be in a quality self-tanner can help you to avoid products that might inflame the skin, cause breakouts, or create acne. It is always a good idea to be sure that you are familiar with what kinds of ingredients should be in products that you use for skincare so that you avoid struggles with skin health.

Most self-tanners include a coloring agent that is called DHA (dihydroxyacetone). This product combines with the amino acids in your skin, and this causes browning, which is not unlike the reaction that happens when the skin is exposed to the sun. This is a reaction that is happening at the dead cell layer of the skin, which is the most exterior level of the skin. While this might make it seem like this reaction does not pose a threat to your skin health, there are studies that are being done to confirm just how damaging self-tanners are. It is still possible that this cellular reaction is not ideal for your skin.

The more DHA that is in a product, the darker your tan will be. There is still some debate if these products are not also causing skin damage when used regularly. More study needs to be done into the effects of DHA on the skin with long-term use. If you want to be sure that your self-tanner experience will be a good one, make sure that you never use a cheap product or one that does not include a moisturizer in it. You can also opt for an organic self-tanner, which does not contain DHA.

Some self-tanners are made to be added to your lotion of skin moisturizing products, and some of them come as a ready-made lotion-type product. Make sure that you are getting a product that has a quality moisturizer in it, like avocado oil, honey, or macadamia oil. This will give you a much better application process as well as much-needed skin care at the same time as you get a tan.

Since the DHA in your self-tanner is causing a reaction with the top layer of your skin only, you will also get more life from your self-tanning efforts if your skin is moisturized during the application process. This will lock in the effects and prevent dry skin from causing you to shed all the tanned cells that you created with your self-tanner.

This article was last updated on May 29, 2023 .

Categorized as Skin Care