Tips for Applying Self Tanner at Home
Self-tanning products contain D.H.A. or dihydroxyacetone derived from the oxidation of glycerol. When D.H.A. comes into contact with the air and the skin, it reacts with certain free amino acids present on the surface of the stratum corneum.
This chemical reaction causes pigmentation of the skin. Only the dead cells of the stratum corneum are affected by the pigmentation. In fact, D.H.A. does not penetrate beyond the outermost layers of the stratum corneum.
Pigmentation of the skin varies according to the concentration of D.H.A., the individual in question and skin tone.
D.H.A. does not lead to the formation of blackheads, but if your skin is asphyxiated, the self tanner will color existing blackheads. It amasses in clusters of keratinized cells, hence the appearance of dark brown streaks.
To obtain an even tan, you should exfoliate and moisturize your skin.
When exfoliating your skin, you should concentrate on “key” areas: the knees, ankles and elbows. On the face, the wings of the nose have a tendency to stain.
Mix a small amount of self tanner with your moisturizing cream or lotion in the palm of your hand. This will give a more even application and a much better end result.
On the face, massage in using small circular movements. Avoid the eyebrows and hairline, which retain color more easily. Wipe with a slightly damp piece of cotton wool immediately after any accidental application of product to these areas. Smooth over the wings of the nose, the chin and the forehead. Do not forget the ears, the neck or the contour of the lips.
On the body, apply the self tanner in long sculpting strokes. Start with the feet, moving up to the arms. If you are using a spray such as ST. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Spray, stand in your bath. This will be easier to clean. Smooth over the elbows, knees and heels. After you have finished applying the product, wash your hands thoroughly and scrub your nails. Carefully cleanse only the palm of your hand with a make-up removal wipe if you want to keep the backs of your hands tanned.
To maintain your tan, repeat the application once or twice a week.
You must not…
- Apply a self-tanning product to damp skin
- Cleanse your face with an alcohol-based make-up remover. In any event, avoid using soap, which destabilizes the self tanner. Use a pH neutral cleanser instead.
- Exfoliate your skin within 3 days of applying self tanner
- Apply self tanner before doing sports
- Get dressed immediately after applying the product. Wait a few minutes, then wear dark, loose-fitting clothing.
- Sunbathe without sun protection.
Self tanner is not a sunscreen. It does not serve to filter U.V.A. and U.V.B. rays. So, when you are going out to enjoy the sun, remember to protect your skin by using sun protection products suited to your skin type.
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