Dermatologists’ Favorite Self-Tanners and How to Apply Them at Home

You may feel a little pale and pasty after spending the winter indoors, but we implore you to resist the urge to go indoor tanning.

Exposure to the UVA and UVB rays emitted by tanning beds can increase your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 59 percent, and that risk increases with EACH USE. Researchers estimate that indoor tanning may cause more than 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year.

Instead, consider a professional spray tan or choose from an array of self-tanning products.

To safely impart that sun-kissed glow to your face, we love the following professional skincare products sold at Central Texas Dermatology’s SkinCare Austin.

Revision Intellishade SPF 45
Elta MD UV Daily Broad Spectrum SPF 40
Eryfotona Ageless Actinica Mineral SPF 50+

For an all over bronze minus the sun’s harmful rays, consider these self tanning products:

St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse
Tan Towel Body Tan Towlettes
Jergens Natural Glow Three Days to Glow Moisturizer

For the very best results, follow these tips for applying self-tanner at home:

  • Exfoliate. Use a washcloth to exfoliate the skin prior to applying a self-tanner. Using an exfoliating product also will help remove dead skin cells. Spend a little more time exfoliating where your skin is thickest, on the elbows, knees and ankles.
  • Dry your skin. Drying your skin before you apply a self-tanner helps it go on evenly.
  • Apply in sections. Apply the self-tanner in sections (such as the arms, then legs, followed by the torso). Massage the self-tanner into your skin in a circular motion.
  • Wash your hands after each section. You will avoid orange-colored palms by washing your hands with soap and water after you finish applying the self-tanner to each section of your body.
  • Blend at your wrists and ankles. For a natural look, you need to lightly extend the tanner from your wrists to your hands and from your ankles to your feet.
  • Dilute over your joints. Dilute the self-tanner on the knees, ankles and elbows, because these areas tend to absorb more self-tanner than the rest of the skin. To dilute, lightly rub with a damp towel or apply a thin layer of lotion on top of the self-tanner.
  • Give your skin time to dry. Wait at least 10 minutes before getting dressed. For the next three hours, it is best to wear loose clothing and try to avoid sweating.
  • Apply sunscreen every day. You still need to protect your skin with sunscreen. Be sure that your sunscreen offers all of the following:
    • SPF 30 or higher
    • Broad-spectrum protection (UVA/UVB protection)
    • Water resistance

Congratulations to Dr. Trizna on his upcoming retirement July 19!