Tricks for applying self-tanning products
Health and beauty

Tricks for applying self-tanning products

More and more people are turning to this type of product to get that bronzed look without the skin damage, but do you usually end up with your body full of orange-toned blotches more like that of Donald Trump’s face?

Carmen Barreiro


Friday, 5 July 2024, 15:14

Opciones para compartir

If you are one of those people who want to show off your legs with an even and enviable tan but usually end up with your body full of orange toned blotches more like that of Donald Trump’s face, this information will interest you. Despite dermatologists insisting that “the most beautiful and healthy thing is the natural tone of our skin,” the reality is that we tend to look better when we are tanned.

“The sun has many benefits but we must sunbathe appropriately so as not to damage the skin and that means neither sunbathing on the beach nor on UV beds. In fact, the only healthy tan is from self-tanners. There is a phrase in English that defines it very well: ‘Better to fake than bake’,” agree dermatologists Ana Molina and Paloma Borregón.

The only issue with these products is that you have to know how to apply them correctly so that they look natural. Hands up anyone who hasn’t had a minor mishap with a self-tanner: patches all over your body, a skin tone that wasn’t even remotely what you were looking for, or orange stains on the palms of your hands. Well, to avoid this type of incident and have an even and healthy tan, just follow this series of guidelines below.

Exfoliate and moisturise

The most obvious of all the snippets of advice is that you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It is not the same to apply a foam product of the type that darkens your skin tone a little as spreading a self-tanning product that dyes everything it touches. As Dr Molina puts it, an expert trick to applying such products successfully is to “mix them with a little moisturising cream and exfoliate the skin the day before so that the final result is as uniform as possible.”

Self-tanners, which are sold in different formats and textures in pharmacies, supermarkets, beauty salons and online, achieve that desired golden, tanned look “with dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a molecule that oxidises the proteins on the surface of the skin to produce melanoidins, brownish polymers different to melanin that also give us a tanned appearance without the input of the sun. It’s like makeup, but long-lasting,” explains Dr Ana Molina.

In addition to the creams, mousse, spray-mists and gels that everyone can apply at home (with increasingly successful and natural formulas), another option that is increasingly in demand is the self-tanning booth. These are gradually replacing the UV beds which were so fashionable a few years ago but are now discredited for multiplying the chances of developing certain skin cancers.

The concept of self-tanning booths tan the face and body will not harm the skin either. The product remains on the surface of the skin and the tone can be tailored to the client’s taste. “The process is quick and simple, no more than a quarter of an hour. The product is applied with an airbrush and the tan lasts approximately one week,” as explained by staff of a self tanning centre.

Can it be applied to all skin types? “Unless you are experiencing a skin flare-up, this type of tanning is fine for all types of skin, from people with psoriasis, dermatitis, atopic skin, with scars... It is important to assess each case before tanning,” say the experts.

Another option to make it look like we have spent several days on the beach is to use body makeup. This makeup – the most famous being the one marketed by the Spanish businessman Jose Balaguer – not only tans the legs but also hides skin imperfections, achieving a kind of Photoshop effect. However, “what these self-tanning or body makeup products do not do is protect us from the sun, so we will have to continue using a high protection sunscreen (SPF 50),” says dermatologist Paloma Borregón.

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