Safe face tanner options without the effects of overexposure to the sun.
Ever in search of the perfect faux glow, one only has to look at the beauty aisle in the supermarket to see the wide variety of sunless tanners now available. From lotions to sprays, creams to foams, the number of options for achieving a UV-free tan is staggering.
Now, with the advent of formulas designed specifically for the face, even the most sun-wary can attain a full-body bronze.
When looking into solutions for tanning the face, keep in mind that the worst decision would be overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV-rays, whether it’s by spending time outside or by using a tanning bed. Studies prove both contribute heavily to causing and exacerbating skin damage, possibly even leading to skin cancer such as melanoma.
There are several options for self-tanning your face. If you’re a DIY-type individual, the market is full of sunless tanners tailored to your application method of choice. Be sure to pick up a formula designed specifically for the face; these are often non-comedogenic (won’t block pores) and hypoallergenic. Sunless tanning formulas for use on the body are, although not harmful, are not geared towards the sensitive skin of the face, with its system of pores and complex moisturizing balance.
Once you have your formula of choice, whether it be a cream, foam or spray, be sure to prepare your face for self-tanning by exfoliating and moisturizing the day before. Don’t use a moisturizer immediately before the self-tanner, but make sure that skin is clean and dry, for other products will only interfere with the self-tanner’s absorption.
If you are prone to streaks and smears, try a lotion rather than a quick-drying foam, which will give you more time to smooth out any areas that appear uneven. Using a tinted formula is also a good option, as it allows you to see where exactly the formula has been applied and how much. Too much in one area will only result in the dreaded orange color; too little and you’ll end up with blotchy spots.
Be sure to use sparingly around the hairline and the eyebrows – although the self-tanner should not discolor the hair follicle itself, it may allow for too much of a concentration in one area, resulting in orange discoloration. When rubbing the self-tanner on your face, be aware that it will be very easy for the formula to catch in the corners of the nostrils, in front of the ears, on the chin and in the corners of the mouth.
In order to combat this, dry using a dab of moisturizer immediately afterwards only in those areas to help blend the self-tanner and result in a smooth, all-over finish.
Other options for tanning one’s face include visiting a salon or spa where they offer airbrush tanning, such as Fantasy Tan. A trained technician will use a small, hand-held airbrush machine to deliver a fine mist of self-tanner over the face and body. Costing around $100-$150 for a full body session, inquire about a reduced rate simply for the face. Another option would be to visit a Mystic Tan or Hollywood Tan salon, where they offer spray-tan booths. Approximately $30 will net you a session, lasting less than a minute, in which you walk into a fully private booth and allow yourself to be sprayed with small jets expelling a mist of self-tanner.