Should you tan yourself or go to the salon?

Wouldn’t we all love to have a beautiful sun-kissed glow all year long? Even in the cold and gloomy winter months? Faux-tanning products are the answer to this dilemma, and are a lot safer than sitting outside, soaking up the sun with little or no protection from harmful UV rays. But which method of self-tanning is best?

Here are the pros and cons of salon spray tans and at home tanning kits so you can decide which method is best for you.


Salon Tan


  • Easy: you don’t have to put in any effort, just stand there and be sprayed.
  • Quick: it only takes a minute or two, and then you wait for it to dry.
  • No risk of skin cancer.
  • Skin is not sun damaged, and will not show signs of aging.
  • Whether it is in a booth, or done by a beautician, you will be coated evenly.
  • A quality spray tan will look natural.
  • No harmful chemicals: the main ingredient in fake tan (Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA) is a simple sugar compound.
  • Some salons provide protective gear to prevent inhaling the tanning liquid.
  • A beautician at the salon can get the colour that is just right for you.
  • Loads of salons have popped up since solariums were outlawed in most states.

Ethical self-tanning products


  • Results are short term: the colour will come off with the skin cells that we shed.
  • Ingredients: while many tanning agents contain nothing more than a simple sugar compound, some do contain more harmful ingredients.
  • Can be more costly, ranging from $20 to $50 and sometimes more if you go to a really high-end salon.
  • Fake tan is not so good for you if inhaled, so hold your breath while you’re being sprayed.
  • Does not protect from UV rays, so you still need to protect your skin from the sun.

Self-tanning products customer satisfaction survey

At-Home Solutions


  • More cost effective option: you can get a couple of tans from a bottle of self-tanning cream, and it is cheaper than going to the salon.
  • No risk of inhaling the mist of tanning liquid.
  • Used in the comfort of your own home.
  • Again, require no sun exposure, reducing the risk of cancer and skin ageing.
  • A quality at-home tanner will not stain clothes (look for the ingredient DHA: Dihydroxyacetone).
  • Some products on the market contain moisturiser in the formula to prevent skin from drying.
  • A few products also include SPF to protect you from the sun when you’re out and about.
  • Colour can still be customised to your skin tone, with most brands offering a variety of tan shades.
  • Gradual tanning creams and moisturisers can be great for a consistent fake tan.
  • At-home tanning lotions come in gels, mousses, creams, moisturisers, oils, and sprays There are a few airbrushes on the market that are made for the home.
  • There are still innovations in tanning products, such as the James Read Sleep Mask Face Tan

Self-tanning tips for bridal parties


  • Not every product on the market is a good product – it is best to do your research before you buy.
  • It may take a few practices to get it right.
  • All tanning products will give off a bit of a funky smell as the formula reacts with your skin.
  • Some products that are sold as tanners are technically bronzers – which are a whole different product. These tend to be a heavier, darker formula, and are almost guaranteed to stain clothes.
  • Not all tanners will contain SPF, so you will still need to apply sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays.
  • DIY disasters will happen from time to time, so it is best to pick up some self tanner remover with your tanning lotion.
  • You may need to try a few different tanners to find the perfect one for you.

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