Tanning has been a famous fashion trend for almost a century now. Tanning was introduced in 1923 by Coco Chanel, who spent too much time sunbathing while yachting between Cannes and Paris. And since then, skin tanning has been a famous summer activity, with hundreds of tanning products being introduced in the market. And one of the most useful products that help with both sun tanning and artificial tanning is tanning oil.
Tanning oil is your go-to product when you want your skin to tan faster and more evenly. Products in this category are usually composed of sunscreen, moisturizers, and certain oils that concentrate UVA rays to speed up the tanning process and enhance the color that you is achieved.
Do you need tanning oil when sunbathing or when using a tanning bed? Well, tanning oil can be used in both scenarios and can produce great results in your skin, although you might want to be careful with them when using them in tanning beds and make sure to wipe off any transfer as some ingredients may damage the bed.
If you want to know more about what tanning oil does and how you can use it safely, do read on…
What Does Tanning Oil Do?
With their unique compositions, tanning oils can be perfect solutions for your everyday tanning needs. They are specifically formulated to help you achieve a quick and even tan with fewer tan lines, plus some or all of these added benefits.
- Anti-aging properties
- Repair damaged skin
- Skin vitalization
- Sun protection
- Tingle activators
Some products have pigments and bronzers that bring an instant tan, while other ingredients work with your time in the sun to bring a deeper, more permanent color by intensifying UVA rays which stimulate melanin production in the skin and make it tan.
Some products also increase melanin levels to the upper skin layer by increasing the blood flow.
How Does the Tanning Oil Work?
Before we learn how tanning oils work, you need to understand skin structure. Our skin is made up of three layers:
The epidermis is the top skin layer that protects us from all external irritants and invasions. The epidermis doesn’t have sebaceous glands, hair follicles, or blood vessels. Therefore, when tanning, you should ensure that the tan doesn’t penetrate the epidermis. If this happens, then there could be some serious health issues.
How Does the Skin Tan?
Understanding how the tanning oil works requires you to know how your skin tans. When exposed to the UVA rays produced by the sun, your skin reacts by producing melanin. Melanin is a unique pigment that gives your skin the tan color and protects you from ultraviolet rays, both UVA and UVB.
What about sunburns? UVB rays are the cause of sunburns. When you get sunburns, it means that your skin can’t produce more melanin to protect your body from UV rays. It’s best to know the ideal time to tan to get the best result.
Tanning oil is known to make a few necessary changes to the epidermis to help your skin tan faster. This oil enhances tanning by intensifying the ultraviolet rays in 2 ways:
- Introducing a higher level of melanin to your epidermis
- Producing more melanin
The more melanin your skin has, the darker it gets. Therefore, the tanning oil ensures that your body produces melanin. It does this by making the melanocytes produce more melanin.
Other types of tanning oil introduce more melanin to the epidermis. As mentioned earlier, some tanning oils are formulated to increase blood flow to the skin, ensuring that more melanin is delivered to the epidermis. Some tanning oils have moisturizers and bronzers as part of their ingredients — and these can play an important role when it comes to tanning.
Some tanning oils use bronzers to accelerate the process of tanning. And one of the most common bronzers is the DHA (dihydroxyacetone). The DHA is a natural sugar that reacts with the amino acids in your epidermis to produce a bronzing effect that lasts for about seven days. The bronzing effects wear off when the affected skin cells die and peel off.
Another unique aspect of this product is the moisturizers that are added as active ingredients. Remember, the entire tanning process can dehydrate your skin. Therefore, the addition of numerous moisturizers like glycerin and vitamin E can help moisturize your skin. These moisturizers can help your skin keep its moisture or draw moisture from the atmosphere. After all, moisturized skins tan evenly and don’t peel.
How to Use the Tanning Oil Properly
Tanning oil doesn’t artificially accelerate the process of tanning; instead, it enhances it naturally. However, there are numerous measures you have to take for the oil to work perfectly. Some of these include:
Use a Product With a High Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
Attracting high volumes of UV rays to your skin can accelerate the tanning process, but this means you will need protection, especially from UVB rays. So when purchasing a tanning oil, you should look for one with a high SPF level to filter out UVB rays while allowing the UVA rays to come through.
To avoid redness and dryness of the skin, you should look for a product with 15 SPF or higher. Therefore, the higher the SPF value, the more UVB protection your skin gets. If your tanning oil doesn’t have SPF, then you should purchase sun protection cream separately.
Cosmetic products with SPF help regulate the amount of UV rays absorbed by the skin. Therefore they can become counterproductive. That is why selecting a 15 SPF product and above is a perfect combination to apply together with your tanning oil. 15 SPF will prevent sunburns while the oil will function as a catalyst for tanning.
Apply It Evenly on Your Skin
Exposure to the sun for an extended period can drain the nutrients and also cause chronic dryness. Therefore, the tanning oil should be applied to all the parts of your body that you want tanned. You can pour the oil on your palm and then apply it evenly on all the desired parts of your body. You can also get a sprayer to help you apply the oil evenly with minimal wastage.
Let Your Skin Absorb the Oil
This oil was not formulated to just stay on your skin; it was meant to be absorbed into your skin. So allow the oil to sink into your skin and start working and make sure you don’t wash it off. Tanning oil works perfectly when it gets absorbed into your skin. If you plan on swimming, you can look for water-resistant tanning oil.
How Frequently Should You Reapply the Tanning Oil?
If you want to speed up the tanning process, you should reapply the tanning oil after every two hours. People who are active swimming or sweat a lot should reapply this product frequently. But if you don’t want to over-tan quickly, then you should apply this product once every 3 to 5 hours. The frequency of reapplying a tanning oil will be determined by your skin type.
Is Tanning Oil Bad for Your Skin?
Tanning oils are made using numerous safe ingredients that offer little to no harm to our health or skin. But prolonged exposure or excess usage can trigger problems that vary with individuals. Most tanning oils feature gluten. Gluten is a protein found in mineral oil, and if absorbed in excess, it can cause severe skin problems.
One of the skin disorders caused by absorption of excess gluten is dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). Dermatitis herpetiformis resembles herpes, and one of the main symptoms of DH is chronic blisters.
Excess mineral oil in these products can also end up in your skin pores and clog them. The clogging of the skin pores can cause overheating of the body since the pores won’t be sweating. Overheating can cause numerous health issues ranging from digestion problems to headaches. Clogged skin pores can also cause acne.
So, you should look for tanning oils that are gluten-free. Gluten-free tanning oils are easily absorbable and pose a little-to-no threat to your health.
Also, find out if coconut oil can be used as a tanning oil.
Getting a beautiful golden tan is definitely a popular #summergoal. And with the right tanning oil, you can achieve this with no sunburn. Tanning oils are formulated to intensify UV rays reaching your skin. These products are formulated to keep your skin safe when sunbathing on the beach. Tanning oil can accelerate the melanin production process. Other tanning oils increase blood flow to your skin which helps deliver the melanin to the epidermis.
However, many people have complained that tanning oils are, well, oily. If used in excess, it can clog your skin pores. But this product still does its job perfectly, and if applied evenly, you can get deeper and even tan within a very short time. Tanning oil can guarantee you an even and balanced tan with fewer tan lines.
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