South African Spas
  • Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in the Western Cape Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in the Western Cape
  • Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in Kwa-Zulu Natal Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in Kwa-Zulu Natal
  • Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in Gauteng Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in Gauteng
  • Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in the Eastern Cape Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in the Eastern Cape
  • Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in Limpopo Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in Limpopo
  • Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in Mpumalanga Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in Mpumalanga
  • Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in the North West Province Click here to view Health and Beauty Spas in the North West Province
 
View by Province
Hot Topics
Email us for more health tips
Our Facebook Page
  Find Recently Added Articles  
Or by Article Category

South African Spas Guide to Sunless Tanning

Article Category: Beauty and Well-being

Legend has is it that tanning came into vogue quite by accident, when Coco Chanel was spotted sporting a deep sun tan after a holiday cruise around the Med. She tried to downplay her tan, claiming that she’d stayed out in the sun too long, but her unwitting fashion statement soon caught on.

Alas, few of us are are lucky enough to lead the sort of Champagne Riviera lifestyle conducive to acquiring a deep Mediterranean tan. Still, there are other ways to look gorgeously tanned…and without exposing oneself to the damaging effects of the sun. Bronze yourself with one of these simple sunless tanning solutions

Sunless Tanning Solution One: The Spray Tan

Tanning product is bottled in an aerosol can, and contains an active ingredient called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which causes a chemical reaction with amino acids found in the top layers of your skin, essentially ‘dyeing’ your skin a darker tone. Nowadays, there are many good home spray tan kits on the market. To apply the tanning product, simply hold the aerosol can upright, 15-20 cm away from your body, shake well and spray using even strokes.

Pros and cons of spray tans:

  • Tan lasts about 10 days
  • No UV rays to damage skin
  • The chemical colourant, DHA, is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).
  • Properly applied, it provides even coverage
  • It’s quick drying
  • BUT it can be messy and stain clothing, skin and nails
  • One should avoid bathing and swimming for at least 6 hours after application
  • You will need an assistant to help you spray those hard-to-reach-places
  • DHA can cause allergies in some people.
  • The effects of the chemical DHA on pregnant women have not yet been studied.

Top Self Tanners:

  • Carribean Tan in a Can: R89.95
  • Spraytan Express, R199.00

Sunless Tanning Solution Two: Airbrush Tanning

Airbrush tanning is a relatively new innovation, but uses the same sort of DHA tanning product found in home tanning sprays. A spray tan technician at a tanning salon will apply an exfoliation treatment to your skin first, to ensure that the best results are achieved. Then, the client stands in a tanning booth – sometimes referred to as a 'tan can' – and tanning product is dispensed as a fine mist via an air compressor with tiny nozzles. Some salons also add skin treatments, such as moisturisers and skin-firming preparations, to the tanning product.

Pros and cons of airbrush tanning:

  • No UV rays to damage skin
  • The active chemical colourant, DHA, is approved by the US FDA.
  • The tanning solution is atomised (converted into a fine spray), which makes for a far more even application
  • Some systems also polarise the tanning solution – the tiny colour particles are magnetised, causing them to stick to the skin, producing a better colour result
  • The mechanical sprayer results in a more even application than tanning products which are hand-sprayed
  • It’s quick drying
  • Sessions are only about 25 minutes
  • Tan lasts about 10 days and looks natural
  • BUT you will need to avoid bathing or swimming for at least 8 hours after application, as the product takes 12 hours to develop to its fullest colour.
  • Precautions should be taken to avoid product getting in your eyes during spraying
  • Make sure the tanning booth offers good ventilation and proper drainage
  • The tanning product can cause allergic reactions in some people, particularly dermatitis – have your tanner do an allergy test prior to your first treatment.

Cost of airbrush tanning:

  • R240-R280 per session (excluding exfoliation and moisturising treatments)

Top Self Tanners (available at leading tanning salons and spas):

  • California Tan Rapid Air Professional Tanning System – considered the world’s finest spray tan system
  • Caribbean Tan Professional Tanning System – the first professional tanning system in use in South Africa
  • Solglo – Tanning Product of the Year 2008 (South African Professional Beauty Awards).

Sunless Tanning Solution Three: Tanning Lotions and Tanning Mousses

Tanning Lotions and Tanning Mousses also contain the active ingredient DHA, and simply offer a different means of applying the tanning product. A small amount of product is squeezed onto the hands and then applied like a moisturising lotion.

Pros and Cons of Self Tan Lotions and Self Tan Mousses

  • Easily absorbed by the skin
  • Less messy than sprays
  • Cost-effective for one-off applications, for example, for special occasions
  • Instant Tan and Gradual Tan options are available
  • BUT it is more difficult to achieve an all-over application
  • Tan only lasts four to five days.

Top Self Tanners:

  • Nivea Sun Touch Self Tan Lotion, R76.99
  • Caribbean Tan Lotion and Mousse, R89.95
  • Tropitone Sunless Bronze Lotion, R75

For Self-Tan Novices:

Piz Buin Self Tanning Lotion and Colour Dial, R250 – the split bottle has a colour dial which allows you to customise your colour.

Sunless Tanning Solution Four: Tanning Wipes

The latest home tanning solution! Classic wipes – much like baby wipes or facial cleansing wipes – are infused with a self-tan lotion. To apply, simply wipe over your body to achieve a bronzed glow.

The Pros and Cons of Tanning Wipes

  • Easy-to-use – no mess, no fuss
  • Tan appears within an hour of application
  • Wipes contain skin-care formulas to moisturise and nourish
  • Very cost-effective
  • Keep in your handbag for touch-ups
  • Great for travelling
  • BUT the tan will only last about five days.

Top Self Tanners:

  • Caribbean Tan Tanning Wipes: R49.99 for 6 wipes
  • L’oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes, approx. R245

To get a glorious fake tan, do follow these self-tan tips…

  • Shave, then exfoliate your entire body the day before application with a good body scrub and follow with a moisturiser
  • Choose the right shade – be guided by the product’s skin colour guide and opt for the product designed for your natural skin tone
  • Apply thin layers to prevent streaking and blotching
  • Use tanning product sparingly around your knees and elbows – it’s more readily absorbed by the thicker skin of these areas
  • Avoid strenuous activity for a few hours after application – perspiration interferes with the colour development
  • Use latex gloves to avoid staining the palms of your hands and fingernails.

What’s the difference between a self-tanner and a body bronzer?

While self-tanners contain the chemical DHA, which dyes the top layers of the epidermis a darker shade, body bronzers don’t. Instead, they contain mica, talc and mineral oils which mimic a sun-kissed glow.

Best Body Bronzers:

  • Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion, R29.99, and Summer Glow Face Lotion, R22.95
  • The Body Shop Body and Leg Shine, R135
  • Avon Arabian Glow Gel for Face and Body, R64.95
  • Nivea Body Sunkissed Firming Moisturiser, price unavailable.

Also read: South African Spas Ultimate Guide to Getting Beach Fit


Author: