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sunless tanning

Sun-Kissed & Sun Safe! Get That Summer Glow without the Sun Damage!

Tanning used to mean sitting out in the sun for hours at a time to obtain the desired deep bronze.

As we learned about the damage the sun’s UV rays can cause our skin, including accelerating signs of aging, self-tanning has become the healthiest way to get a beautiful, radiant glow. 

If you don’t want to expose your skin to the sun’s damaging rays, but still want that sun-kissed glow, consider sunless tanning products. Understand how these products work — and the importance of applying them carefully and correctly.

What is sunless tanner?

Sunless tanning products, also called self-tanners, can give your skin a tanned look without exposing it to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays

The active ingredient in most sunless tanning products is the color additive dihydroxyacetone (DHA). When applied, dihydroxyacetone reacts with dead cells in the skin’s surface layer to temporarily darken the skin and simulate a tan. 

The colouring typically wears off after a few days. Sunless tanning products are commonly sold as lotions, drops and sprays you apply to your skin in the comfort of your home! 

Six Reasons to use sunless tanner

benefits of sunless tanning
  1. Safe to use
  2. Easy to apply
  3. Convenient
  4. Good for your skin
  5. Much safer than sun tanning & tanning beds
  6. Have a tan all year long! 

Instant or gradual tan. What’s the difference?

The main difference between instant and gradual self-tanners is how much DHA the product contains, and what other ingredients it contains. Instant self-tanners are meant to give you some great color very quickly, sometimes in as little as a few hours. Gradual self-tanners develop color more slowly, but are easier to maintain in the long run.

Are sunless tanners safe while pregnant?

Are you pregnant and wondering what the best self-tanning products are for you? Well, you aren’t alone! 

The active ingredient in self-tanning products is called dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. DHA is a harmless ingredient that reacts with the amino acids in the dead skin cells on your body.

This chemical reaction produces pigment in the epidermis (the top layer of your skin) that replicates a normal and natural tan from the sun.  

DHA is a type of sugar that can be created synthetically, or harvested naturally from sugar cane or sugar beets.

The tan you get from DHA self-tanners only happens on the outer layer of your skin, and less than 0.5% of the DHA is absorbed through the skin, which is safe during pregnancy.

How to prep your skin for self tanners!

The application of the sunless tanner is not the most important part in achieving a perfect self tan. In fact, the most important step happens right before that, and it happens in the shower.

We are talking about EXFOLIATION! It’s the removal of dead skin cells that reveal the younger and newer skin underneath. 

Exfoliating the skin unclogs pores, cleans the skin, reduces breakouts from appearing, and creates the perfect smooth canvas for your self tanner.

Exfoliating before you apply your tanner will ensure an even and longer-lasting tan.  It will also get rid of older self tanner that may still be on your skin. Exfoliating before you apply your self tanning product will also help even out those “problem areas”.  

Pay special attention to your soles, ankles, heels, elbows, knuckles, and knees.  These regions are dry areas and lose skin cells very quickly. The most common exfoliants are either salt-based, rice-based, or sugar-based.  It’s really about just finding what works best for you.

Our James Read Superfood Exfoliator Face & Body product is a great option for anyone looking for a scent free and plant-based alternative. This skin polishing and cream enriched product employs chia seeds and pomegranate for gentle exfoliation and instant hydration, prepping your skin without the irritation that some exfoliants can cause.

Are there any treatments to avoid while using a sunless tanner?

Any light-based treatments should be avoided for two weeks after any application of a sunless tanner. Lasers and other light-based treatments cannot tell the difference between true melanocytes (pigment cells) and the dead skin cells that have soaked up your newly lathered on tanner.

Most lasers are attracted to pigment, and therefore you will need to forego your next laser treatment for two weeks after the last application of your sunless tanner. We recommend the same thing for a true tan or recent sun exposer to avoid undesired pigment changes during these types of treatments.

Four ways to extend your sunless tan!

Once you achieve your sunless tan, how do you extend it? A sunless tan normally lasts 4-5 days, but if maintained correctly, you can extend the tan for 6-8 days.

  1. EXFOLIATE and SCRUB the day before your sunless tan, whether it’s spray tanning or self-tanning. It’s important to exfoliate and rub-off excess, dead skin cells so your body does not naturally exfoliate the tan too soon.
  2. Also, if you need to shave or wax, do this in advance. Don’t wax after because you’ll strip your tan off. It’s essential to start with a clean, fresh skin for your sunless tan. The day of the tan, avoid any moisturizers, as it can act as a barrier to the tan and your results may not be as dark as you’d like.

3.    Stay Dry! After tanning, you don’t want to accidentally wash the results down the drain or sweat them away. Don’t get wet and don’t get sweaty for at least 8 hours. It’s crucial to the development of your tan. When you’re ready for your first shower, do a light rinse in warm water, not too hot. To extend your tan, you may want to avoid going in a pool or lake.

4.    Moisturize & Hydrate! Moisturizing your skin, daily, when spray tanning or self-tanning is important. Your body naturally exfoliates its top layer of skin about every 7 days. When your skin exfoliates, it takes the tan with it. So, to delay the fade, hydrate your skin to maximize the longevity of your tan.

5.    If you have self tanner products at home, use them, regularly. If you don’t, we’d recommend getting some and putting them to good use. Whether you buy a bronzer or a gradual tanning product, they’ll help moisturize and extend the life of your sunless tan.  Try JAMES READ TAN!! Find the entire line right here at Ageless and have the most beautiful tan all year-round!!

Sunless tanning myths – let’s set the record straight.

Myth #1: Sunless tans don’t last.

Busted: Of course, tans, both real and fake, will fade eventually – that is just life. Sunless tans usually last around 5 days but, with proper care, can last around 7.

Real tans are usually fading by this point too!

Myth #2: Sunless tanner will make you orange.

Busted: We hear this myth way too often. The age-old concern of turning Oompa Loompa orange stems from celebs such as the Jersey Shore gang who just don’t know how to use fake tan! But not all sunless tanners will cause these undesired results.

James Read Sunless tanning products are the only tanning range founded and formulated by a leading tanning expert. Every product within the range is dreamt up by James himself, resulting in a concise edit of skincare rich, innovative, multi-purpose tanning products (or as we like to call them, tanning hybrids) to suit all skin tones and types.

Myth #3: Sunless tanners are full of harmful chemicals.

Busted: This myth had some truth to it in the past but these days it certainly isn’t true. The traditional style of spray tanning does contain some harsh chemicals such as dyes, alcohols, preservatives and perfumes.

Thankfully, organic fake tans have been developed. Organic spray tans are free from these ingredients but do contain the wonder-product, argon oil.

They are EPA and TGA certified and usually cost the same as regular spray tans! Talk to your salon about the composition of the tan you are using to make sure it is right for you. Remember, spray tans are a lot less harmful than UV rays.

Myth #4: You need sunlight to get Vitamin D, so you may as well tan in the sun to get your intake.

Busted: This is pure fiction! You get enough for Vitamin D if you expose your skin to direct sunlight for 2-10 minutes a day. We don’t encourage putting your skin at risk to UV rays like this, so we found out other ways to get Vitamin D.

You can supplement it with a tablet or get it from foods that are fortified with Vitamin D – such as milk, orange juice, yoghurt or cereal, as well as salmon, mackerel and tuna. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to damage your skin with UV rays to get your daily intake of Vitamin D!

Myth #5: Sunless tans smell bad.

Busted: What was once fact is now fiction. Although fake tans do have a scent, they have come a long way from the times where the starchy smell was overpoweringly horrible.

The spray tan industry has come a long way in creating products where the smell is neutralised and much more pleasant!

Why use James Read sunless tanner products?

James Read Tan was built on a completely unique concept; combining the benefits of luxury skincare with a natural golden tan to suit all skin tones. James Read’s mission has always been to change the world’s perception of tanning.

Orange, sticky, drying, hard to apply, these are all comments of the past. These products are effortless to apply and are all about making your skin not only look amazing, but feel amazing too. That’s why we’re not afraid to call them outsTANding.

With sunless tanners being a safe, efficient, and effective alternative way to obtain that deep bronze you desire, what is stopping you from getting your glowy complexion?

Our product knowledge specialists at Ageless Living are always available for free consultations and would love to help you discover the most appropriate James Read sunless tanner product for you!

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Megan Nicholls

Megan graduated with honours in 2011 from Georgian College, Ontario, as a practical nurse. She has completed extensive training and certification in the fields of dermatology and aesthetic medicine. Megan specializes in BOTOX® and filler injections, medical-grade skincare, assessment and treatment of varicose and spider veins, and the application of light and energy-based technologies, to name a few. She is qualified as a Certified Management Professional, and a Certified Aesthetic Consultant and is currently undertaking a Master's Degree in Business Administration. Megan serves as our Director of Operations, where she leads our team with the vision of providing unrivalled products and services while utilizing the concepts of the "Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health" program from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.