Tanning products have come a long, long way since the 90’s. I remember first hearing about Dove’s gradual tanning moisturiser in primary school and thinking it must be some type of magic (around the same time the 'Harry Potter' films came out). I also thought anyone that would want to use a strange smelling lotion to make their skin kinda orange must be crazy! But then again I was 8 so I didn’t really have the same priorities.
Now that I’ve grown up a bit, the idea of having a tan all year round kinda does appeal. We’re still unsure why, but there’s just something about a summer glow that just makes everything better. My only concern is whether tanning products are actually better for us than lying in the sun. And what on earth is in them that makes our skin change so drastically in such a short space of time!?
There is an ingredient in a lot of tans called DHA (which stands for dihydroxyacetone) which works by reacting with the amino acids in dead skin cells to make your skin darker. In my opinion, anything that reacts with your cells should probably be looked into before we start rubbing it on our skin. So, I did a little research on the web to see if this chemical is harmful. So far there is no direct evidence that DHA increases your risk of cancer, whereas exposing your skin to UV rays by tanning in the sun or in a sun bed is a very different story.
I’ve made a list of some tanning products with different benefits that will be safer than lying in the sun and super handy to help with keeping up a tan all year around.
Le Tan self-tanning instant glow isn’t half bad for the ripe old price of $16 from your local supermarket. Very natural looking and smells pretty good too. This was the first instant tanner I ever used besides Dove gradual tanning moisturiser. If you’re on a budget then this is your go-to tan.
Safest / Chemical Free Tan
Our skin is our largest organ and a lot of what we put on it is absorbed into our bloodstream. So you’d think it would be sort of important to choose a fake tanner that isn’t harmful to your body. Eco Tan has a range of organic tanning lotions that don’t contain a lot of the chemicals that other instant tanners do. They even have a tan for winter skin which tans you gradually so you won’t be looking like a pumpkin after your first application. If you still want that summer sun-kissed look but have your doubts about DHA, then ‘Eco Tan’ is your new BFF.
Bondi Sands is an Aussie brand that has a range of instant tanners for different skin tones. I can personally vouch for Bondi as she’s always been there for me in my time of need. Those winter evenings where I caved under peer pressure and made a very last minute decision to head out with the gals instead of writing an assignment. The ‘One Hour Express’ tanning foam is the go-to for a night like this, which makes it the perfect instant tan for those who aren’t great at planning in advance.
Balibody is a luxurious tanner that’s all over my Instagram feed. I’ve personally never tried it but all the models use it so surely it’s good stuff. Oh, and it’s vegan! This bronzing lotion has a bit of a shimmer in it, unlike most matte instant tanners. Perfect for all the girls out there who don’t condone the use of animal products and want an even, glowing tan like they’ve just been somewhere tropical.