Have you always wanted to try self-tanning but your acne-prone or sensitive skin always made you think twice? We totally understand you. You can’t help but wonder if taking one step forward may eventually lead to taking two (or more) steps backward when it comes to having clear, healthy skin.
We already know that prolonged sun exposure is out of the question, but will a self-tanner do just as much damage to your skin? Our quick answer is yes and no – yes if you pick out a really bad self-tanner and no if you heed our tips for finding your holy grail. Read on to get your started on your breakout-free glow.
Let’s do our homework first: meet the DHA
Before we move on to our recommendations, it’s important that you understand what this mysterious ingredient called DHA is. DHA is short for dihydroxyacetone, which is an active tanning ingredient that is commonly used in self-tanning products. This ingredient is basically responsible in bringing about that golden glow people get from self-tanners. Your skin’s amino acids react with the DHA’s simple carbohydrate formula, which then gives your skin a darker tone.
We know what you’re thinking: the DHA sounds like some harsh chemical. We’re here to debunk that. Multiple studies have shown that DHA doesn’t do harm to the skin, and only touches the outermost layer of the epidermis.
It is also important to not that not all DHAs are the same. Look for self-tanners that indicate 100% natural DHA because this will make all the difference for acne-prone or sensitive skin.
Our first pick: tanning drops
If your skin won’t appreciate you introducing a new product to it, our way of compromising is to use tanning drops. Mix in a bit of the tanning drops into your favorite non-comedogenic moisturiser and apply as per usual. This will help your skin transition more smoothly in its reaction to new ingredients, minimizing your chances of a breakout. Also, this option is good for those who want a gradual custom glow.
As with the DHA, not all tanning drops are made equal. Give the ingredients list a thorough inspection to make sure that your tanning drops are only made of high quality materials. A little tip: natural ingredients are always best.
Our second pick: self-tanning mousses made out of quality ingredients
If you think gradual glows are a bit too slow for your taste, your next best bet is to pick out a non-comedogenic tanning mousse. We love mousses for acne-prone or sensitive skin because they are lighter in formula and absorbs easily into the skin. Self-tanning mousses are less likely to clog your pores, which may potentially lead to some skin flare-ups.
As with the tanning drops, make sure that your self-tanning mousse is made up of only the best ingredients. When dealing with sensitive skin, we reach for self-tanners that are 100% natural, toxin-free, and vegan. Taking out the harmful ingredients and having the highest quality DHA reduces your chances for breaking out. Quality ingredients will also give you that natural sun-kissed look that won’t leave you looking orange.