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Sun Tan Lotions and Creams

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Tanning for the Fair-Skinned

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If you are very fair-skinned, the concept of a tan may in itself seem like a fantasy. If you are pale though, and want some color (other than red!), a bottle of tanning lotion can do the trick.

Tanning lotion works by helping the body make more melanin. It also keeps the skin moisturized so there are fewer dead skin cells shedding off your body. This in itself makes the tan, whether natural or self-tan, last longer and appear healthier.

With all the tanning lotion options out there, fair-skinned people no longer have to feel the stigma of being pale in a sea of tan.

Go Bronze

Bronzers are a type of tanning lotion that is considered to be a cosmetic. They produce a darkened appearance on the skin via a water-soluble dye. Their effect is immediate, and they tend to wash off as soon as you shower. They are temporary but non-toxic and great for commitment-phobes.

Some people make the mistake of trying to amp up their tan by buying the darkest bronzer possible. This is a mistake, and can just make your face look ashen or dirty. The best bronzer would be the one that is a shade or two darker than your normal coloring, which can create a natural looking sun-kissed glow.

Sunless Tanning Lotions

Sunless tanning lotions contain DHA, which interacts with the skin's outer layers and causes a tan. Much like high-intensity tanning beds, sunless tanning lotions were originally discovered decades ago by the Germans.

When used frequently, these tanning lotions are surprisingly effective, and easy to use if the instructions are followed accurately. The most important aspect of using these tanning lotions is to be well-moisturized and to exfoliate. This makes the skin receive the color better, and helps the tan last longer as well.

Tanning Accelerators

Tanning accelerators are a type of tanning lotion that contains natural enzymes that will stimulate and increase the production of melanin, which is the enzyme in the body that creates a tan.

Some of these tan accelerators, which are also known as tan maximizers, contain methyl nicotinate, a substance that penetrates the skin and activates the melanin to produce a deeper color. These lotions can also produce a warm, tingling sensation and increase the blood flow to the skin’s surface to increase the rate of the tanning effect.

These are potent and should be used carefully -- and avoided by those with sensitive or fair skin.

Tanning Lotion Application

No matter what type of self tanning lotion you choose to use, the application is very important.

If you use the product correctly or incorrectly, you will see a tan almost instantly; the problem is that your tan may be blotchy or uneven if not done right. Best results come from freshly showered, exfoliated, and moisturized skin. Then, apply area by area, avoiding streaking or drippage. Keep a towel nearby to rub it off nipples and nails and any other area you wouldn't naturally want to appear tan, sunless or not.

For the facial area, you'll need fewer applications, but you should still use the same guidelines as you do for the rest of your body.

Tanning Bed Lotion

A great way to get the most out of your tanning experience is with the use of tanning bed lotions.

Using the lotion will help to keep your skin protected and also make your tan appear faster. These lotions contain a substance called Tyrosine, an amino acid that aids the body's production of melanin. It's also an antioxidant, which helps to rid the body of harmful substances and help with better exfoliation. They also may be used for cooling the skin and to prevent burns.

Visit MasterTanning.com and you will see a slew of options by companies such as Australian Gold and Swedish Beauty. Ranging from facial tanners to aloe freeze gel to accelerator lotion and more, these products offer the full range of your tanning lotion related needs.

Choosing Your Tanning Bed Lotion

If you have fair or light skin tones, you should choose a Type I or Type II tanning bed lotion. If you have medium tone, or have already achieved a base tan, a type II, III or IV is best for you. For people with dark skin tones, choose a lotion of Type IV or V. If you don't know what to use, you should always take the opportunity to ask salon staff or your local pharmacist. The wrong choice can render the product useless and put your skin at risk.

They also come in a variety of scents, meaning you can make a choice based on scents you love (or hate).

Eye Lotion for Tanning Beds

Some tanning bed lotions are made specifically for use in the sensitive area around the eyes during tanning.

These tanning bed lotions contain vitamin E, caviar proteins and grapefruit extract used as antioxidants. UV radiation is powerful, and the FDA recommends the use of eye goggles. This is an added protection for the fragile skin in that area, keeping it moisturized and undamaged by the heat and light.

Sunblock in Conjunction with Tanning Lotion

The use of tanning lotion can be beneficial in many ways, but one benefit it does not contain is protection from the sun.

Experts recommend using sunblock or sunscreen in conjunction with the tanning lotion. Though some tanning lotions say they have a minor sun protection factor, the amount is still too small to protect effectively against the sun's ultraviolet rays.

Sunblock is always a good year-round idea, even when it doesn't feel sunny out. So wear a sunblock of SPF 15 or greater every time you go out into the sun.

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