How should I use self-tanners and tan accelerators? Activators, bronzers, accelerators, tan extenders, self-tanners… The market offers all kinds of cosmetic products which lend our skin a beautiful brown tone. What purpose does each of them serve and how to use them?Self-tannersThey are considered the healthiest way of acquiring the tanned skin, because they do not require the contact with the sun and we can use them even in winter or on cloudy days. They act very quickly – we can obtain a delicate color already after one hour, and the maximum effects become visible after approx. 4-5 hours from application. How does a self-tanner work?The basic active ingredient of self-tanners is dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which reacts with the amino acids contained in the horny layer of epidermis, and causes its browning. The acquired tan does not wash off and is safe, and fades together with the natural exfoliation of the epidermis. How to use self-tanners?Most self-tanners have the consistency of a cream or balm, but recently light mists have become available which are becoming quite popular. After the whole body peeling, apply the self-tanner evenly on the skin; remember however to use it less generously on your knees and elbows. Immediately after the application the layer of the product is not yet resistant to water, so wait several minutes, washing your hands thoroughly during that time. It is good to choose the self-tanners which spread easily, as in the places where we apply a thicker layer of the cosmetic it may leave streaks. Before sun exposure, apply also a sunscreen product. How long does the self-tan effect last?It depends on the thickness of epidermis, the rate of its exfoliation and the concentration of active substances. It can be 2-3 days, but there are also products, like the IDEAL BEAUTY Self-Tanning Mist, which ensure a pretty tan for up to 5 days, and with regular use darken the skin effectively. Tan starters and boostersTan starters (or activators) and boosters are the cosmetic products which allow us to obtain the natural sun tan faster. They prepare our skin for tanning, and they often contain the agents which get activated still before the contact with the sunlight. How does a tan booster and activator work?The amino acid contained in tan boosters, called tyrosine, accelerates the process of melanogenesis, i.e. melanin (natural pigment) production in the skin. It makes the skin tan faster during its contact with the UV radiation. Tan starters in turn contain a small dose of DHA which works even without the sun exposure. The combination of these features can be found in the line of firming and hydrating balms SUN CARE Express Bronze 3in1, which work further to our advantage thanks to their content of cocoa butter and walnut extract with tan reinforcing effect. How should we use tan boosters and activators?For the preparation for sunbathing we can start using tan activators 1-2 times daily already two weeks earlier with the aim to stimulate the natural production of melanin and give our skin the golden tone. In order to speed up tanning, apply the balm evenly onto the skin 30 minutes before going out into sunlight or to the solarium and then 1-2 times daily on the tanned skin to prolong the durability of the tan effect. How long does the effect of a tan booster last?Most tan boosters do not have any influence on the durability of color as it forms during the natural tanning process which is only supported by the effects of the cosmetic. To prolong this effect it is worth choosing the products with natural extracts which lend the skin a golden tone, and with moisturizing complexes which will slow down the process of exfoliation of the sun-dried epidermis and will give it softness and smoothness. Tan extendersThey are cosmetics which do not have any direct impact on the skin color but help to maintain its attractive appearance for longer, supplying the skin with many nutrients it needs. How does a tan extender work?Tan extenders have the form of after sun balms which supply the skin with moisturizing ingredients, among others. It is very important as the contact with the sun dries the skin out and makes it exfoliate faster, so we lose the beautiful tone quicker. Moreover, tan extenders contain vitamin E, panthenol and allantoin which calm skin irritations. They also contain the ingredients which darken the skin and give it a golden color, so the effect lasts longer. How to use tan extenders?As regards their use, tan extenders, like the SUN CARE Ultra-Hydrating Tan Extender, are very comfortable because they are applied onto the skin like ordinary body balms. In order to enhance their effects they should be used immediately after sunbathing and massaged gently into the skin; this will improve its firmness and stimulate circulation thus facilitating the absorption of active ingredients from the cosmetic product. How long does the effect of a tan extender last?The precise number of days during which we can enjoy the beautiful, golden tone of the tanned skin, depends on the skin’s condition and is quite individual. Nevertheless, the composition of tan extenders includes e.g. the walnut extract which darkens the skin slightly and helps to maintain the natural look of the golden tan. SUN CARE Illuminating Tan Extender contains also illuminating particles which additionally lend to our skin the radiant appearance and glow.