Fact or Fiction: Self-tanners

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

The self-tanners of the past could turn you orange. But they've come a long way since then -- and everyone knows now that lying in the sun is a big no-no. How much do you know about getting a tan without the sun?

The active ingredient in most self-tanners is dihydroxyacetone (DHA).

DHA it is.


DHA gives your skin color when it reacts with the lipids in the top layer of your skin.

Yes. DHA + skin proteins = "tan."


The average self-tan lasts up to a week.

You can expect it to last three to seven days.


The average cost of a spray-tanning session is around $30.

Nope, the average spray tan costs about $15.


Self-tanners don't provide any protection from the sun, so you still need sunscreen when you go out.

As always, wear sunscreen -- the tanning lotion won't protect you.


Be careful when applying self-tanner to your knees and elbows -- these areas will absorb more product and turn darker.

Beware the telltale sign of a self-tanner -- dark knees and elbows. Go light in these areas!


If you're going to put self-tanner on your legs, you should wax or shave them right before application.

The day before is the time for hair removal.


You should shower and exfoliate right before using a self-tanner.

Showering and exfoliation will allow the product to penetrate your skin more evenly, so you should do both immediately beforehand.


You should apply self-tanner with an even, up-and-down motion.

Using a circular motion will help prevent the dreaded streaking.


Save your hands for last.

You should wear latex gloves to apply the self-tanner to your body first, then go for the hands.


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