Are Gradual Tanning Lotions Safe?

The number of Australians deliberately attempting to get a sun tan is dropping year upon year. Awareness of skin cancer is increasing and with this knowledge is a desire to tan with natural, safe cosmetic products. But do you know just how safe your tanning lotion is?

If not, then we are here to explain it. Read on as we answer the question, "Are gradual tanning lotions safe?"

How Gradual Tan Works

All tanning products work with the use of a chemical named dihydroxyacetone. A tanning product reacts with the top layer of dead skin that is inherent in everyone's epidermis. Turning them into a rich brown colour, this is how fake tan stays on the body. 

Luckily, dihydroxyacetone is derived from sugar so it is a perfectly natural product. With a gradual tan, as the skin cells leave the body, your tan will fade. All you need to do is to up the tanning solution to get a healthy glow. 

 

Are Gradual Tanning Lotions Safe?

Fake tanning lotions that use dihydroxyacetone are safe. Should the active ingredient in your lotion read differently, then you should consider changing to one based on this natural ingredient. 

In fact, using fake tan is much safer than sitting in the sun. UV Rays can cause untold damage to your skin, prematurely ageing it and resulting in harmful skin cancers. To stay healthy, the adage goes that you should try to fake it with a false tan and not bake it with the sun. 

Non-Safe Tanning Solutions

Some tanning solutions may contain toxins that can cause damage to your body and skin. The most common of these are parabens. Used as a preservative in many cosmetics products, they can result in allergic reactions. 

Other problems are that too many ingredients and overly powerful compounds can cause Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome. This manifests differently in each sufferer, with symptoms ranging from fatigue to muscle pains and memory loss. All of these can be avoided by opting for an organic, toxic-free tanning solution

Is It Safe to Use When Pregnant?

Gradual tan is safe to use when you are pregnant. When only the top layer of skin is impacted, then nothing is absorbed into the body. One factor to be aware of is that your body can change during pregnancy. With increased hormone production, even tans you found acceptable before may produce allergic reactions. Choose a natural, toxic-free tanning product to minimise the risk.

If you’re considering a spray tan with a bun in the oven then read into ‘Spray Tanning When Pregnant’ by Three Warriors.

How Long Does Gradual Tan Last?

Gradual tan is more likely to produce a natural glow and aesthetic. As it builds over a few days, it’s easy to keep topped up. With the proper preparation and aftercare, you can expect the results to last for around 10 days. 

Skin Patch Testing

Everyone's body is different, and a natural gradual tanning lotion may take varying amounts of time depending on a person. If you have a big event and want to get the tan right, you can start with a patch test. 

Choose an area of the body that is out of sight. Apply a little of your gradual tan to this spot. Keep checking over the next few days to see how it changes. 

From here, you can work out how quickly a tan develops, how deep the colour goes, and if you need to apply more. Once you have the basics down, you can manage your tan for all the upcoming dates in the social calendar. 

Is It Safe to Have Laser Hair Removal With Fake Tan On?

Many people don't realise that fake tan and laser hair removal are not a good mix. When you add a tan before hair removal, the risk of experiencing a burning sensation can increase. 

The lasers work by focusing light energy. Darkening the skin’s surface means more energy is absorbed instead of reflected. This happens on the skin’s surface instead of the follicle at the base of the hair, resulting in less effective treatments. 

Advice About Gradual Tanning Lotions

When fake tanning, keeping the skin hydrated is essential. This will help maintain the top layer of skin, making your tan last longer. Ensure the chosen natural tanning products protect and better the moisture in your skin. 

One thing to avoid is oil-based skin products added on top of your tan. Some oils will break down dihydroxyacetone, making your tan fade quicker. 

Applying Gradual Tan

To get the best from your natural gradual tanning lotion, a little preparation goes a long way. A clean surface is essential, so wash and exfoliate the skin before your application. Remove any unwanted hair beforehand. 

When applying to the body, start with a small amount. Begin with the limbs, working the lotion in circular motions. Start at the forehead working down over the neck when applying to the face. 

For a basic guide (as every skin type is different - hence the patch test) see below:

  • 1 hour - For a light and fresh, ever so natural fake tan glow.
  • 2-3 hours - For a medium to warm organic spray tan.
  • 4-5 hours - For a deep, dark holiday worthy gradual tan.

Here’s more on Applying Gradual Tan

Selecting the Best Lotion

Now you know the answer to the question, "Are gradual tanning lotions safe?" you just need to find the right product. There are numerous choices on the market, though not all are created equal. Make sure to check their ingredients and any claims they make. 

Our natural gradual tan is infused with avocado, coconut, and olive. It won the best natural body tanning award at the Organic Beauty Awards 2020 and was the editors choice at the Global Beauty Awards 2020. Click here to read its many benefits and order your product today.