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Faking a Tan

Sunless Tanners

Sunless tanners come in sprays, mists, gels and creams. The sprays and mists are easiest to apply). Sunless tanners offer the added benefit of being able to apply the tan in the privacy of your own home. The cost of sunless tanners range from $7 to $36. The tan lasts for 3 to 5 days.

Spray Tanning

Spray tanning is usually done at a salon inside a private booth. During a spray tanning session, an espresso-colored mist is automatically sprayed onto your body. For best results, you'll need to lean how position yourself so your entire body gets tanned. The cost of spray tanning ranges from $18 to $30 per session. The tan lasts for 7 to 10 days.

Airbrush Tanning

Airbrush tanning is often performed in salons, spas and physician's offices. Airbrush tanning professionals will give you personal attention and alter the tan's color in different areas of your body for a more natural look.

Sunless Tanning Tips

  • According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the most effective products available are sunless- or self-tanning lotions that contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as the active ingredient. DHA is a colorless sugar that interacts with the dead cells located in the stratum corneum of the epidermis. As the sugar interacts with the dead skin cells, a color change occurs. This change usually lasts about five to seven days from the initial application.
  • Try and try again. If you are applying the sunless tan yourself, you will probably have to practice several times before you get the tan you desire.
  • Ask friends for recommendations of products or salons.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions. The more questions you ask, the better informed you will be.
  • Find out if the product contains sunscreen. If it does not, you may want to find a sunscreen that doesn't interfere with the tanning agents.
  • If you are new to sunless tanning products, try not to apply a spray yourself. When self applied, they are difficult to apply evenly.

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