How Self Tanning Lotion Achieves A Beautiful Glow

By Haywood Hunter

To understand how these lotions work, sometimes learning about the design of the skin can help get the depth of color desired as well as determine the best self tanning lotion for you. Basically, the skin has two layers. The outer layer is called the epidermis and the inner layer is the dermis.

Self tanning lotion darkens the outer layer of the epidermis whereas sunbathing darkens the inner layer. This is called the stratum basale layer which can be damaged easily by direct sunlight. A disadvantage of this product is that few contain sunscreen, but when used properly is safe.

Self tanning lotion targets the top layer of the epidermis, called the stratum corneum. To find tanning lotions that work on this layer of the skin is the key to getting the best results. Since its inception, this product has attempted to achieve that sun kissed glow that is so desired today.

The first to introduce self tanning lotion was Coppertone, who released their product in 1960. Since that time many changes have been made as it originally turned skin orange. The result is tanning products that can turn skin from a dark tan to anything lighter with applications using various methods.

Self tanning lotion often takes between 45 minutes to one hour before it starts working, then another two hours to dry. However, with self tanning lotion containing dihydroxyacetone the color lasts between five to seven days. This is because this ingredient interacts with dead skin cells in the epidermis turning them dark.

Fortunately, today there are many options when it comes to self tanning lotion. Sprays, powders, and moisturizers make application of self tanning lotion easy and convenient. However, it is important to remember that few, if any, self tanning lotion products contain sunscreen, so precautions should be taken.

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