So, What Else Should I Know About Tanning Lotion?
Welcome back, friends! We’ve gone over why we should all be using tanning lotion… It’s time to talk options! In the tanning industry, there are five different, generalized categories of lotion to get to know. They are intensifier lotions, bronzer lotions, tingle lotions, extender lotions, and facial lotions.
Intensifiers, Accelerators, & Maximizers
These types of lotions are the best option for beginning indoor tanners. They are formulated to aid you in achieving a base tan quickly, without the added bronzers. These lotions will take your skin to its fullest potential without adding any color. Intensifiers, accelerators, and maximizers usually contain a large amount of moisturizers that allow the skin to tan more quickly and retain color for a longer time.
Once a base tan has been built, you might want to jump up to a more moderate level of lotion. Bronzing lotions contain the same chemical found in sunless tanning products and services, dihydroxyacetone (DHA)—which is old news to you. 😉 One of the reasons bronzers are so popular, is because they allow you to achieve that instant sun-kissed look, and then continue to darken for hours after your session (this is why it is advised to wait to shower after using a bronzing lotion for about 4-6 hours). Bronzing lotions have their own spectrum of intensity based on the amount of bronzer within the lotion; experimenting within this spectrum will allow you to achieve the color you’ve been dreaming of!
Tingle & Hot Action
We like to think of these lotions as advanced lotions. They can certainly be fun to try for the more experimental tanner, but aren’t recommended for first-time tanners. Tingle lotions contain active ingredients like benzyl or methyl nicotinate, which promote microcirculation. Basically, it increases blood flow and brings oxygen to the cells in your skin. This process of oxygenation will improve your tanning results. When using these products, you will experience a mild tingling, reddening, and warming sensation on the skin’s surface. Your blood cells will rise to the surface of your skin, causing your skin to feel bumpy or “fuzzy”. (We advise those with delicate or highly sensitive skin to test a lotion like this on a small area to check for a reaction).
Tan extenders are specialized moisturizing lotions designed to lengthen the life of your tan, and can (and should) be used by any and all tanners, no matter where you’re at in the tanning process. These lotions are formulated to replenish your tanned skin with some of the moisture, nutrients, and vitamins that can be lost while tanning. Because healthy, moisturized skin holds a tan longer, it is best to apply these types of lotions post tanning session and following your daily shower to ensure the glowing condition of your skin!
There’s a reason the face has its very own type of tanning lotion. Your face is the main feature that sets you apart from everyone else and attracts the most attention. If that weren’t reason enough, your facial skin is, unfortunately, one of the most sensitive and vulnerable areas on your body. Facial lotions have the same basic functions as a body tanning lotion, but are the best tanning lotions to apply from the neck up because they are specially formulated to be much gentler on your face. They also often incorporate a bronzer or tint that is more suitable for your face, as well as concentrate the formula on firming the skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
What else is in my tanning lotion?
Always be sure to carefully read product labels to find the lotion best suited for your skin type and level of tanning. Other common, beneficial ingredients found in tanning lotions include:
- Hemp Seed Oil: nourishing/moisturizing properties make this a popular ingredient
- Body Blush: made for those who want a tingling effect but have sensitive skin
- Anti-Aging: contain added vitamins that help fight and prevent premature signs of aging
- Shimmer: glimmering additives have reflective properties, giving your skin an added glow
- Caffeine: often added to reduce puffiness and energize skin; absorbs into the body—avoid if sensitive to caffeine
- Silicon: a mineral with moisturizing benefits; helps condition skin
- Beta Carotene: Vitamin A; enhances pigment coloration in your skin
- Vitamin E: makes skin softer and reduces appearance of lines and wrinkles
Here at Ultimate Sun, we carry top of the line lotions either branded by California Tan or Designer Skin; we can also order you a specific lotion if we do not currently have it in stock. Try one of our sample packets before buying a bottle. The first thing you should look for after one use of lotion is moisture. Ask yourself: How good does my skin feel? What is the main moisturizing ingredient? Does my skin look dried out or does it have a healthy glow? If you have sensitive skin, it might be smartest to stick to lotions with a more neutral or subtle aroma. There are also tanning lotions specifically scented for men, as they resemble cologne or fresh soap. If you are unsure, PLEASE ask our opinion! We have all experimented with many different types of lotion and can attest to our favorites. Thank you again for reading our blog, Ask Ultimate Sun.
Check back in next Wednesday for your tanning knowledge upgrade! XOXO, MJ