Several fake tan myths tend to discourage people from considering self-tanning as an option for maintaining a healthy sun-kissed glow. This is unfortunate because it is a safe and convenient option for people who live in areas that do not get much sunlight. Moreover, it actually can save the avid tanner from having to expose them to harmful UV light. As a result, the risk of developing diseases such as skin cancer can be reduced significantly.
13 Fake Tan Myths | Don’t Be Quick to Ditch Self-Tanning
1. A Fake Tan Can Last As Long As Two Weeks
Although most self-tanners are advertised to give you your desired glow for up to two weeks, this is false. In reality, this is not precisely true. Moreover, the external layer of the skin naturally sloughs off is that this is the oldest layer. Additionally, fake tanners react with this outermost layer making it vulnerable to fading due to the natural process of sloughing off. Given this, self-tanners would last for 5-7 days. To maximize the duration of your fake tan application, here are a few tips:
- Avoid hot baths – Exposure to hot water or excessive heat can cause the fake tan to come off.
- Pat the skin dry – Avoid rubbing when towel-drying.
- Moisturize – Doing this would increase the amount of time before the outermost layer of the skin begins to slough off.
- Avoid exfoliation – Exfoliation should be avoided to preserve the external layer of the skin.
2. Moisturize Before Applying Your Fake Tan
It is important to not apply anything to your skin before applying your fake tan. Substances such as moisturizers act as a barrier between the self-tanner and your skin. With that said, a moisturizer impairs the effectiveness of your tanner in that it prevents it from sticking to the skin. However, this fake tan myth is partially right as it is essential to moisturize regularly to provide a smooth and even surface for practical application. Additionally, it is good to moisturize during the 5-7 days that the fake tan is on the skin.
3. A Fake Tan Can’t Last Long
As mentioned, a self-tanner can last 5-7 days if well taken care of. Some may say these tanners cannot last as long as a real tan. However, a real tan naturally fades after 5-7 days. Given this, a fake tan more or less lasts as long as a natural tan.
4. Fake Tans Turn You Bright Orange
You’d be surprised at how much fake tans have improved in quality over the years. There is now a variety to choose from that you can match to both your skin tone and skin type. Fake tans can look very natural provided you select the right one. If you have only begun to tan, we recommend, to start with, a tanner just a few shades darker than your skin tone. Once you understand how your skin reacts to fake tanners, you could then graduate to darker shades.
5. A Fake Tan Can Function As Sunscreen
It is important to understand that a self-tanner cannot provide you any protection from the sun. Given this, it is crucial to use sunscreen daily to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Moreover, a fake tanner cannot prevent you from sustaining sunburn during prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.
6. You Can Use Any Moisturizer to Help Your Tan Last
As previously mentioned, experts would recommend keeping your skin moisturized to extend the tinge of your fake tan. However, some types of moisturizers can be detrimental to your fake tan. In looking for the perfect moisturizer to keep your bronzed glow, look out for lotions that have mineral oils or petroleum.
7. Fake Tans Are Harmful
Another fake tan myth is that these are detrimental to your health. This is pretty far from the truth being that its main ingredient is often dihydroxyacetone (DHA). Moreover, this substance is highly non-toxic and cannot be absorbed into the body. Additionally, DHA only reacts with the outermost layer of skin and combines with amino acids which result in the formation of melaninoids. It is this reaction that creates the brown pigment found in self-tanners. Given this, fake tans are a much better option regarding health in comparison to exposure to direct sunlight and UV rays.
8. Fake Tans Are Guaranteed to Stain Fabric
You might be worried about getting a fake tan for fear of ruining your clothes and bed sheets with stubborn brown stains. You’ll be happy to find out that this is a problem easy to avoid. The stains you associate with fake tans are not from the tanner itself. Instead, it is the guide color ruining your sheets. This guide color is a few shades darker than the actual tanner and is mixed in to help you apply the tanner evenly. Without this guide color, it can be difficult to tell which areas you’ve already coated which can lead to unsightly streaking.
With that said, you can always opt for a self-tanner not containing a color guide if you want to avoid undesirable stains completely. But if you don’t want to risk a streaky application, you could always invest in all-black pajamas.
9. Fake Tans Are Always a Streaky Mess
Another worry of yours might be that you won’t be able to apply your self-tanner correctly. There are a variety of things you could do to avoid a streaky application:
- Avoid moisturizing before use – It is best to apply your fake tan on the dry and smooth skin.
- Exfoliate before application – We mentioned you must avoid exfoliating while wearing your fake tan. However, we do highly recommend to exfoliate right before you apply your cream. Doing this would ensure that the dead skin cells are scrubbed off the surface. Moreover, this would provide you with a cover of cells that would likely last longer.
- Shave at least a day before – Before applying your self-tanner, make sure you wait at least 24 hours after shaving. This is necessary to give your pores enough time to close up and avoid the tan from collecting in them.
- Use a fake tan with a guide color – It would be easier to see what you are doing if you were to use a self-tanner with a guide color. Given this, you are more likely to be able to tell which areas you’ve already coated with the solution.
10. A Fake Tan Makes You Look Slimmer
The slimming effect of a tan is another fake tan myth. Although this does not help you appear skinnier, it does help you make you feel great about yourself and how you look! A bit of a confidence boost doesn’t hurt.
11. Tantouring Provides an Instant Toning Effect
Tantouring can provide an illusion of a toned body using layering fake tan solution on specific areas. Furthermore, this layering creates an effect similar to contouring. However, different people have different body types. Although this technique may work for some, this doesn’t have the same impact on all people. It isn’t exactly a one size fit all type of thing which makes it a less than ideal solution.
12. Tans Wash Off in the Shower
When you find yourself standing in a puddle of brown and orange water while showering after a tan, don’t worry! Your fake tan isn’t washing off. Instead, it is the color guide being rinsed off. This color guide makes you appear significantly darker upon initial application. After washing this off, you are left with your perfect sun-kissed glow.
13. Fake Tans Are Only for Women
We now live in a day and age wherein men are more comfortable with acknowledging how they take care of themselves. Although women are still more likely to regularly apply fake tans, more and more men have been adding this to their routines. Moreover, a research spearheaded by Fake Bake found that from a sample of 1,200, 53% had admitted to using tanning products in secret.
We hope that in debunking these fake tan myths, we have convinced you to once again include it in your list of options for your healthy glow. Moreover, there are some factors to your self-tanning decisions, and we hope we’ve covered most of them through this article. Don’t let your doubts get in the way of considering this accessible, low-risk, and year-round solution to the pasty skin.
Have you self-tanned before? Share your thoughts and experience with us in the comment section below!
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