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California Sunless Tanning!
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Q: How do I find the sunless product that's right for me?
A: There are many sunless products to choose from and therefore it is best to take a moment and answer our brief questionnaire under My Tan - Sunless to get your personal product profile. This unique system of questions is designed to find the best product(s) for you based on your personal sunless tanning needs and product preferences.
Q: Why are California Tan sunless products sold in a step system?
A: The Sunless 3-Step System provides advanced sunless tanning products featuring unique ingredients that are specially formulated to prepare, develop, extend, and enhance a sunless tan. Each step addresses the skin's special needs during various stages of the tanning process. Refer to Sunless Tanning Basics to learn more about the Sunless 3-Step System.
Q: How does the sunless step system work?
A: Our Sunless 3-Step System is based on scientific research and identifies specific sunless tanning and skincare needs throughout all stages of the sunless tanning process to ensure a fast, flawless, natural-looking sunless tan. California Tan Step 1 Prepare products exfoliate skin and create a smooth surface ideal for a sunless application, ensuring even, streakfree results. California Tan Step 2 Develop products create a beautiful, natural-looking 'tan' with advanced self tanners. California Tan Step 3 Extend & Enhance products help prolong and beautify sunless tanning results and deliver a more pleasant sunless experience.
Q: Should I moisturize before a sunless tan?
A: You should use a moisturizer regularly to keep your skin hydrated and healthy, which will contribute to a more even, natural-looking sunless tan. However, it is recommended NOT to apply moisturizers 2 hours prior to self tanning and 4 to 6 hours afterwards. A moisturizer applied immediately prior to self tanning could interfere with the reaction of the DHA (the active self tanning ingredient) with your skin. Any moisturizer applied immediately after self tanning could cause streaking and also interfere with the reaction of DHA. When you do use a moisturizer, we recommend to use California Tan Sunless Extender, which contains a light bronzer to provide skin with subtle color and extend your sunless tanning results.
Q: Why is keeping skin moisturized essential to maintain great sunless results?
A: It is important to keep skin moisturized after sunless tanning as dry, flaky skin will slough off faster and color will fade sooner. Sunless tan-extending products with a light self-tanning bronzer, like California Tan Sunless Extender, help hydrate skin and maintain even, natural-looking color longer by providing subtle bronzers.
Q: How do self tanners work?
A: The principle tanning agent used in all self-tanning formulas is dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This ingredient does not produce a "real tan" by increasing the skin's melanin levels, rather it creates a tanned appearance by developing a brown color on the surface of the skin. The action of DHA is limited to the upper layer of the skin and involves a reaction between DHA and skin proteins that produces brown compounds. The development of color takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours and the intensity of color is dependent upon the DHA concentration in the product as well as each tanner's individual skin characteristics. The color developed by the DHA usually lasts 5 to 7 days and begins to fade as the top layer of the skin naturally exfoliates.
Q: After applying self tanner at home or at a salon, how long does it take to see results?
A: If the product or solution contains a cosmetic tint, you will see an immediate bronze appearance on the skin. However, the cosmetic bronzers provide only temporary color and will wash off in the first shower. The sunless tanning color that develops from the dihydroxyacetone (DHA) in the formula takes 2 to 4 hours to appear. Therefore, we recommend to wait at least 6 hours after application before showering or exercising to allow DHA to fully react with the skin.
Q: How long should I wait after using a self tanner before I shower?
A: It is best to wait about 6 hours after using a self tanner before you bathe or shower to give the DHA time to fully react with skin proteins.
Q: Can I work out after I used a self tanner?
A: It is best to wait about 6 hours after using a self tanner before partaking in any strenuous activities that may cause perspiration. This will give the DHA time to fully react with skin proteins as well as prevent streaking that could result from excessive perspiration.
Q: How many days will a sunless tan last?
A: The longevity of a sunless tan depends on the type of self tanning application, the skin's natural exfoliation process, and on the skincare regimen followed before and after application.
On average, self tanners last 4-7 days. A professionally application, i.e. a sunless tan received at a salon or spa, will last longer than an at-home application as there is usually a greater percentage of DHA used.
The "life span" of a sunless tan also depends on your skin's natural exfoliation. The faster your skin turns over, the faster the sunless tan will fade. The tan created by the DHA affects only the top layer of the skin and will begin to fade after 4 to 5 days as the skin naturally begins to exfoliate.
Following a good skin care regimen before and after sunless tanning will help a sunless tan last longer. Exfoliating prior to a sunless tanning application and keeping skin moisturized afterwards are essential. Sunless tan-extending products with a light self-tanning bronzer, like California Tan Sunless Extender, help hydrate skin and maintain even, natural-looking color longer.
Q: How frequently do you recommend I use a self tanner or spray tanning booth? Can I do it several days in a row?
A: The frequency of sunless tanning application depends on your skin cell turn over and preference of color intensity. People with quick cell turn-overs may want to apply a self tanner every 3-4 days to keep color fresh, while others may need to apply only once a week. In addition, you can control the intensity of a sunless tan by repeating an application for darker results. It is best to wait at least 2 to 3 hours between applications to allow the DHA to react and set on the skin before applying a "second coat."
Q: When is the best time to apply self tanner?
A: It is best to apply a self tanner to skin that is free of dirt, oils, and moisturizers, and that is exfoliated and shaved. Therefore, an ideal time to apply a self tanner is after showering. It is important when using an exfoliating scrub that it is an oil-free product (like California Tan Sunless Exfoliator) as oils can create a barrier on the skin. Some self tanner users prefer to apply a self tanner before bed as they can wake up with a beautiful tan in the morning.
Q: What are the differences between self tanning lotions, foams, sprays, gels and towelettes?
A: Aerosol and Pump Sprays: Spray self tanners offer a quick application as the self tanner can be directly sprayed onto the skin and dries quickly. It is a great format for men and works well for people with more oily skin as it allows for a light layer of product verses a richer cream/lotion format. It is important to not over-saturate skin as this will result in dripping solution, which causes streaking. Spray a fine mist over the skin and - if needed - rub the solution into the skin, using circular motions. Always wash hands afterwards.
Foam/Mousse: Foams offer the control of a lotion and the easy spreadability of a spray. Shake foams well before using, pump onto the palm of the hand and then spread evenly, using circular motions. Foams go a long way - one to two pumps per body section are enough. Foams work well for men as they allow for easy application and glide over hair. Always wash hands afterwards.
Lotions: Lotions offer the most application control and are a good format for dry skin as they provide greater moisturization. Squeeze lotion onto the palm of the hand and then apply to the skin using circular motions. Always wash hands afterwards.
Towelettes: Towelettes are a fast and convenient format of application. Their compact packaging makes them perfect for on-the-go tanning. They are easy to use - simply unfold the towelette, swipe over skin in a circular motion, then discard. Always wash hands afterwards.
Gels: Gels offers a fast-penetrating and quick-drying format for self tanning. They work well for people with oilier skin. Gels should be squeezed onto the palm of the hand and then applied to the skin using circular motions. Always wash hands afterwards.
Regardless of product form used, it is important to apply the self tanner evenly in circular motions and to take your time applying it. A rushed application will lead to uneven results. Use a product with a cosmetic tint (like California Tan Self Tanners) to aid you in the application. Self tanners can be reapplied for darker results, but wait 2 to 4 hours between applications. Do not over-saturate the skin in one sitting in an attempt to get darker results, as this will results in streaking. Also, always wash hands immediately after an application to avoid staining. If you experience streaks or stains, use California Tan Sunless Corrector Kit.
Q: Can I use a sunless spray booth or self tanner in addition to a regular tanning bed?
A: Absolutely. In fact, the sunless tanning results are phenomenal over a nice base tan. If you want to combine both applications in a single visit, we recommend to use the tanning bed first, then the sunless unit. You can use a tanning lotion in the tanning bed like you always do. However, make sure it is rubbed into the skin really well and use a towel to wipe away any excess lotion or perspiration after getting out of the tanning bed. Without these precautions, or by using the tanning bed after the sunless spray application, you run the risk of streaking.
Q: Will the spray tan from a spray tanning application come off on my clothes?
A: If you are using a spray solution with a cosmetic tint, some of the bronze color may rub off on clothing or bed sheets. This is most likely to happen when you get dressed immediately after tanning. To minimize the chance of the tint transferring to clothing, we recommend that you wear loose-fitting, darker clothes after your spray session. The cosmetic tint is water-soluble. Therefore, in most cases, the color will come out of clothing in the wash.
Q: Will a sunless spray tan affect the color of my nails or nail polish?
A: The solution will not discolor nail polish. However, the solution can cause unnatural coloration of cuticles and nails. Therefore, we recommend you apply California Tan Barrier Cream to nails and cuticles prior to a sunless spray application to avoid any discoloration.
Q: Will a sunless spray tan discolor my hair?
A: DHA reacts with proteins. As hair is a protein, it can discolor some hair types if it penetrates the hair follicles. Those with light hair, such as blonde, white, or grey hair should take extra precautions. It is recommended you wear a protective hair cap, provided by most salons, to ensure protection from discoloration. Make sure the forehead, ears, and hairline are exposed. Those with light hair (blonde, grey, or white) or men with facial hair can also apply a thin layer of barrier cream on to the temples, hairline and moustaches/beards to avoid discoloration.
Q: How often and when should I use the California Tan Exfoliator?
A: The Exfoliator is gentle enough to use every day and should be used regularly prior to sunless tanning in order to smooth and prepare the skin. The best time to use the Exfoliator is when you bathe or shower immediately before your sunless spray application. We recommend you wait at least 48 hours AFTER your sunless spray session before using any exfoliating products. When you do begin using the Exfoliator again about 2 to 3 days after your sunless application, gently massage into the skin for even exfoliation and a natural fading of your sunless tan.
Q: Why is a specially formulated sunless exfoliating scrub (like California Tan Exfoliator) better for my sunless tan in comparison to my regular exfoliating scrub?
A: When exfoliating the skin prior to a sunless application, it is important to not only remove dry flaky skin that can cause uneven results, but also to remove any residue from soaps and moisturizers that can leave a film on the skin and/or oils that create a barrier to the sunless ingredients. It is important to use an oil-free scrub that will leave the skin fresh and primed for optimal sunless application and not add additional oil to the skin. California Tan Exfoliator is specially formulated for use with self tanners and is an oil-free product.
Q: How does Barrier Cream work? Barrier Cream provides a protective barrier layer to prevent the penetration of DHA into the upper layers of the skin, thus preventing staining. Certain areas of the body, like the palms of the hands, bottom of the feet, cuticles, and nails are more porous and stain easily. Therefore, these areas should be covered with an even layer of barrier cream to prevent unwanted discoloration.
Q: How should I apply Barrier Cream correctly? Dispense a generous amount of Barrier Cream onto your hands and apply an even coating to the palms of the hands, in-between the fingers, tips of fingers, covering nails and around the cuticles. Also apply a generous layer of barrier cream to the bottom of feet, in-between the toes, covering toenails and cuticles.
Q: Why should I use the California Tan Moisture Wash instead of regular soap? Moisture Wash is more than just a cleansing gel. Unlike most regular bar soaps and cleansers, Moisture Wash will not leave a residue or film on the skin, which can create a barrier for the reaction of sunless tanning ingredients when used prior to a sunless tanning treatment. Moisture Wash is the only moisturizing, tan-extending body wash out on the market enriched with unique ingredients chosen to help preserve and prolong sunless tanning results. It is a gentle, pH-neutral cleanser that softens and conditions skin while it washes away impurities, plus helps protect skin proteins which are necessary in the reaction and color development of a sunless tan.
Q: Why do I need to wear sunscreen even if I have a sunless tan?
A: Although you may feel and look like you have a real tan, a sunless tan is only the temporary appearance of a tan and therefore provides your skin with no real sunburn protection. It is absolutely necessary you wear a sunscreen when outdoors to protect your skin from burning.
Q: Why do some self tanners make me turn orange?
A: It can be a combination of the type of self tanner used and the level of DHA (the active self tanning ingredient). Self Tanners have come a long way since their introduction. Traditional self tanners relied solely on DHA to create a temporary 'tan.' Recently, many self tanners started including Erythrulose, a similar type ingredient that delivers a more golden color to the skin, whereas DHA tends to be more red/orange. The use of these two self tanning ingredients together and with the right balance allows for a more golden-brown hue and a more natural-looking 'tan.' In addition, Erythrulose takes longer to react than DHA, therefore allowing for longer-lasting sunless color. California Tan has been using Erythrulose since 1997 with the introduction of the BRONZEXTENDŽ Complex - the proprietary self tanning blend used in our professional and at-home self tanning products and tan-extenders.
Try a product with DHA and Erythrulose to see if the end result is more natural for you. You may also want to try a lighter layer or use a product with lower level of self tanning ingredients as over-saturation can also lead to unnatural-looking results.
Information from: http://www.californiatansunless.com/tanning/basics/sunless_faq.html