Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was photographed in the French Riviera sporting a suntan in 1923, and instantly, bronzed skin became a widely desired look. Not only does bronzed skin make you look sun-kissed, it also easily hides imperfections, and even can make someone appear up to 10 pounds thinner. But those benefits come with the downside of sun exposure--skin aging and the increased risk of skin cancer, and so sun tanning is no longer a popular choice.
Awareness of the risks associated with the sun have caused people to resort to sunless alternatives to help achieve the bronze glow, believing it will be safer, but even sunless tanning has some pitfalls. Many self-tanning products contain harsh ingredients and chemicals that can be harmful to the skin and are sold in packaging that is wasteful. A vast number of these products include parabens, a type of synthetic preservative linked to breast cancer. Some self-tanner formulas even contain ingredients known to release formaldehyde as they break down, such as diazolidine urea and DMDM hydantoin.
The following are some eco friendly and natural self-tanning options:
Eco Tan Invisible Tan, $36 - Free from synthetic fragrances, artificial orange dyes, parabens & GMOs. Vegan and Gluten-Free.
Lavera Self Tanning Lotion, $32. – Elle Magazine 2013 Green Self Tanner of the Year.
Alba Botanica Sunless Tanner Lotion, $7 – A more affordable natural option.
Skinerals Californium Self-Tanning bronzer, $25 - Formulated with plant-based oils and vegan-friendly.
Coola Organic Sunless Tan Dry Oil Mist, $46 - Vegan, 70%+ Certified Organic Ingredients.
Most self-tanners do not include any sun protection. It is important to remember that although your skin LOOKS tanned, it is simply color on the surface, so it is still necessary to wear sun protection in the form of SPF 30 or greater. We are exposed to UVA and UVB rays daily, even on cloudy days and through the window in an indoor space. They are extremely hard to avoid. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, causing long-term damage like aging and wrinkles. UVB rays, on the other hand, are shorter than UVA rays. They burn the surface of your skin, causing immediate damage like sunburns and skin cancer in the long run. Without SPF in a self-tanning product, the skin is still exposed to these rays, and the tanned look these products leave does nothing to protect the skin from burning or premature aging.
It is very important to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen after applying a self-tanner. Only broad-spectrum sunscreens can protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Not all sunscreens in the market do not shield against both rays, and people do not realize they are not fully protected. After applying a self-tanner, no one is in the mood for a greasy sunscreen. That’s why our BRUSH ON BLOCK® SPF 30 broad-spectrum mineral powder sunscreen is the best option. Reapplying every two hours guarantees the best results. Since our mineral sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, swimming after applying the mineral sunscreen still offers excellent coverage.
Do not be afraid to try some sunless options to achieve the skin shade you desire, but remember to keep these precautions in mind, and to always carry Brush On Block in your bag.