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Bronzed beauty

Our tips on how to apply sunless tanning products, so that you can get the bronze without the burn this summer

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12 October 2011

One of the great aspects of a spray tan is that you can enjoy it anytime of the year. Winter, spring, summer or autumn, you can look gorgeous, healthy and glowing whenever you want. And there are other benefits in having a spray tan as exposing your skin to the sun can quickly age skin, causing it to dry out and wrinkle. The sun can even cause skin cancer.

First time users of sunless tanning products should apply the product to a small patch of the skin and wait 24 hours before a full body application. Products in the form of gels, lotions, mousses, sprays and wipes can be applied at home. Best results are obtained when applied to clean dry skin. Bathing and swimming should be avoided until product is fully absorbed which varies from one to six hours. If you want your tan for a special occasion, it is best to have your spray tan at least two days before. This allows your tan a day to settle, and gives you a much softer appearance.

The popularity of sunless tanning has risen since the 60s when health authorities discovered links between exposure to the sun, and other sun tanning methods such as sun beds or solariums, and the incidence of skin cancer. The most effective sunless tanning involves the use of lotions or sprays. Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is the active ingredient. DHA is not a dye, stain, or paint, but causes a chemical reaction with the amino acids in the dead layer of skin surface. It does not involve skin pigmentation nor does it require exposure to ultraviolet light to initiate colour change. The effect is temporary and will fade gradually over three to ten days. There are many fake tan products available that give you a natural golden glow and won't make you look orange. Always choose a fake tan that is suited to your skin tone. There are many products available in different shades and colours.

Self-tanning products that come highly recommended are:

1. Elle Bache Great Tan Without Sun

2. St Tropez Auto Bronzant Lotion

3. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs

4. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze Formula

5. Napoleon Perdis Summer Lovers

From my experience, sunless tanning is the best and safest way to tan.

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