Sun tanning has been a trend ever since Coco Chanel introduced it after spending too much time yachting between Paris and Cannes in 1923. Since then it has become very popular to spend your summer days at the beach or by the pool to catch some rays. Thousands of companies are selling products that guarantee you a faster and a darker tan.
How do tanning oils work?
Tanning oils work by attracting and focusing the ultraviolet rays of the sun onto the skin. Although the skin receives more than enough UV exposure in most sunny climates to create a tan, the properties of tanning oils accelerate the process by intensifying the rays. As the UV rays penetrate the skin, they accelerate the melanocytes’ ability to produce melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives your skin color. The greater the presence of melanin in the skin, the darker your skin will appear.
What do tanning oils consist of?
A lot of oils have bronzers in them. Inside them is a colourless natural sugar that chemically reacts with the natural amino acids on the outer layer of your skin. This produces the bronzing effect that stays on your skin until the dead cells on your skin naturally peel off.
Many oils also use moisturizers. Tanning in the sun can be very dehydrating for the skin. These moisturizers are usually vitamin E or glycerin that protect the skin by keeping the moisture in.
Some tanning oils have some SPF protection in them, but most do not. That is why you ALWAYS need to first apply some SPF and then the tanning oil. The SPF depends on where you are located, for example in Estonia I used SPF 6, but in Australia I use SPF 50. It is very important to protect your skin against sunburn, because that may lead to skin cancer. You should always check yourself for symptoms, here’s how to do it.
Bali Body vs Fox Tan
The two tanning products I have used here in Australia are Bali Body and Fox Tan. They look and smell different, and they have a different consistency. I bought the Bali Body oils myself and the Fox Tan sent their products for me to try them out.
Bali body offers oils, that come in three different smells and either have SPF 6 or do not have anything that protects you against the sun. These were the first ones I used here. I do like that the cacao tanning oil gives you a darker tint, but they do not have a very strong smell. They seem to be working and do give a darker tan.
The Fox Tan however offers not oils, but an elixir and a mist. The elixir has a bit thicker consistency than the regular tanning lotions, but it spreads very well and the skin absorbs it in seconds, which is a huge plus, because I hate it when lotions don’t absorb fast.
The mist is very light and also fast absorbing, making the application process fast and easy. And the smell that all the Fox Tan products have is more than amazing. It it just the right amount of strong, and it smells like you’re at a tropical beach sipping cocktails and enjoying life. Honestly. They have all the good ingredients: sweet Almond Oil, Aloe Vera, Cacao Butter, Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil & Vitamin E. I’m pretty sure I will need new ones soon haha.
You can find all of their products from here.
Do I have to use tanning oils to look tan?
Absolutely not, they are just speeding the process. If you have a skin that gets tan fast like mine then they are just a nice-smelling addition. But if you find that the sun doesn’t particularly love you or you don’t have much time to tan then they can be helpful!
Until next time,