Why You Should Opt For Topical Self-Tanner, According To A Derm

While tanning isn’t the safest for your skin (especially without proper sun care), nasal tanning sprays shouldn’t serve as a worthy alternative. What are nasal tanning sprays, you ask? These products stimulate specific hormones in the body to produce melanin, which then alters the pigment in your skin cells. If this sounds dangerous, that’s because it is. 

Topical self-tanner however, is Bowe-approved. “[They’re] definitely safer than those nasal tanning sprays people are using,” she notes in the video. The active ingredient in these topical tanners is referred to as DHA, an abbreviation for the compound dihydroxyacetone. “[DHA] just stains the top layer of your skin temporarily,” Bowe explains. 

Most tanners are generally water and sweat-resistant, but the tan will fade after a few days to one week, thanks to normal (and healthy) skin exfoliation. These tanners come in a range of shades, some with different undertones to replicate an even more natural-looking tan. 

So if you’re looking for a bronzy glow, sans UV rays or unnecessary hormones, self-tanner is your next derm-approved method. We searched high and low for the cleanest self-tanners—here’s a list of the 11 best ones we found

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