Want glowing, golden skin without risking sun damage, but put off by that funky fake tan smell? Read on. We’ve rounded up the pros and cons of self-tans versus suntans – and, trust us, some of the results will surprise you. Get ready for the battle of the bronze!
Less sun damage…
A suntan has an incredible ability to make you look and feel healthy and glowing. But the fact of the matter is, there’s no such thing as a safe tan – unless it’s a sunless one.
Any darkening of your natural skin colour is unfortunately a sign of sun damage. Rather than indicating wellbeing, it means UV exposure has caused the skin’s natural protective mechanisms to kick in – producing more melanin (skin pigment) to shield the skin from further damage.
So, what’s a tan-lover meant to do? Reach for the bottle! A sunless self-tan really is the easiest, safest way to achieve an all-over faux glow, without damaging your skin – and risking your health – in the process.
More even colour…
Let’s face it, even if you rotate every 15 minutes and contort yourself into some interesting angles, it’s hard to achieve an even, all-over tan at the beach or by the pool. Particularly if you’re not into going à la natural.
With the right self-tanning tools, like a tanning mitt and kabuki brush, you’ll get a perfectly uniform result – with not a tan line or strap mark in sight!
If you want to avoid premature ageing the message from dermatologists is clear – stay out of the sun! Sun exposure is the number one contributor to premature ageing – responsible for a whopping 90% of visible changes to the skin1, such as wrinkles, uneven skintone, pigmentation, textural changes and skin laxity.
“But what about Vitamin D?”, we hear you cry. It’s true that sunshine helps the body produce this vital vitamin but, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, most of us maintain healthy levels through incidental UV exposure, even while wearing sunscreen.
As for that SPF, it’s not just crucial during summer. While burning UVB rays are less intense in cooler months, UVA rays – the ones primarily responsible for photo ageing – are consistent throughout the year. They can cut through glass and clouds and can’t be seen or felt, which makes daily broad-spectrum sun protection vital to help slow down the hands of time.
For bronzed skin today without the crocodile hide tomorrow? Think fake tan! Not only does a self-tanner remove the temptation to chase the sun, some – like Sunny Honey – combat ageing from a formulation level. Free from nasty chemicals, activated by-all natural DHA and packed with skin-loving botanicals, our anti-ageing Bali Bronzing Foam formula contains powerful antioxidants to reduce free radical damage caused by UV radiation and pollution.
Offers a natural glow
We’ve all seen fake tans go bad, but that doesn’t make sun tanning the right choice. To avoid ending up with an unnatural-looking, orangey tan, start with a good quality formula. (Scrimp and save with your mascara, not your self-tanner!)
Don’t go too dark for your natural skin tone, and make sure you choose an anti-orange self-tanner with a green or green-grey base.
Hydrates your skin
Even if you avoid a nasty peeling sunburn, sun tanning is super drying to the skin. Not only that, sun baking can trigger breakouts in oily, acne-prone skin. This is because too much sun exposure strips the skin of moisture and dries up natural oils. Dehydrated and uncomfortable, the skin then overcompensates by producing even more oil – resulting in pesky pimples.
The best self-tanners, on the other hand, keep the skin balanced and hydrated – delivering a beautifully bronzed result without any dryness. While some cheap and nasty synthetic formulas will definitely sap your skin of moisture, a good quality self-tanner will leave your skin feeling silky smooth and supple.
Suntan fans often mention the overpowering biscuit smell of fake tans as a reason they steer clear – and it’s true many self-tanners ARE on the nose. This is an unfortunate side effect of the chemical reaction that occurs between the tanning agent (DHA) and the skin.
It’s not the case with ALL fake tans, however. Made with all-natural DHA, Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam has a tropical mango and guava scent you’ll want to wear all day long.
For your figure…
Putting the risk of sun damage aside for a second (just one!), a suntan can make you look a little leaner and more toned. But only a sunless self-tan can actually firm sagging skin and help banish bumpy bits. Without any risk to your wellbeing!
Not all fake tans do this, of course – but Sunny Honey does. The world’s first anti-ageing, anti-cellulite self-tanner that’s free from nasties, our Bali Bronzing Foam is formulated with unique CellushapeTM technology to help smooth uneven, orange-peel skin.
For sun protection…
If you think that a ‘base tan’ will keep you protected from the sun – it won’t. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking fake tans provide UV protection, either. It doesn’t.
Whether you’re playing sport, at the beach or lounging poolside, always apply (and reapply) a high-level broad-spectrum sunscreen. And make sure it’s marked as reef-safe to keep our underwater playgrounds happy and healthy ☺
THE VERDICT? For an even and natural-looking tan, without the peeling, pigmentation and skin cancer risk, self-tanner wins every time!
Tanned & Tested
Don’t just take our word for it, check out these real results from real people! Head over to our reviews page for more!
Skincancer.org – Photoaging: What You Need to Know About the Other Kind of Aging
Written By: Pip Jarvis
Edited By: Vidhya