Often, people recommend wearing sunscreen, but there are a variety of different products in the skincare world which can interfere with your fresh spray tan or self-tanner that you should be careful of. So, is sunscreen one of them that can ruin your fake tan? Read on to find out!
Sunscreen – do you need it?
To begin with, you may be wondering whether sunscreen is even necessary after all. If you aren’t sure what does and doesn’t work, the easy route to this situation is to just cut out one of them completely – most likely sunscreen in these circumstances. But what’s all the buzz with sunscreen?
In short, yes, you do need to protect your skin using sunscreen, even in the winter, as it can suffer from some serious damage due to Sun exposure. If you don’t already know about how sunscreens work or how our skin burns, it’s worth having a look at researching this in more detail, especially if that is something which interests you.
However, in simple, concise terms, the Sun emits two types of rays which can be damaging for our skin: UVA and UVB, and they each have their own downfalls. When you wear sunscreen, your skin is protected from these rays, and this is important to prevent potentially harmful diseases or complications in the future.
Many people believe that, because you have darker skin when you’re wearing fake tan, sun protection is no longer necessary. However, this isn’t the case, and naturally tanned skin can still be burnt, nevertheless. A suntan is essentially your body’s natural defence mechanism against burning, but it only protects you to a certain extent.
Some fake tans also claim to contain chemicals and ingredients which will protect your skin from the Sun, but the reality is that these are usually ineffective by the time the product has actually absorbed into the skin, and various chemical reactions have occurred. So, no matter what your tanning product claims to do, it won’t protect you from the harmful UV rays.
So, even if you’ve got a tan, you’re not immune to a painful sunburn. For this reason, sun protection when you’ve got a fake tan is still equally as important as it is without a tan.
Does sunscreen ruin fake tan?
Now that we’ve established the importance of wearing sunscreen in the first place, skipping it out completely clearly is not an option. Instead, we need to see whether or not sunscreen ruins fake tan.
In actual fact, sunscreen isn’t responsible for ruining your skin as such, and the more alarming thing is what the fake tan can do to the sunscreen. Let’s break this down.
Firstly, as long as your self-tanner of spray tan is past its development stage when you can’t get it wet, and you’ve taken your first shower, using a sunscreen shouldn’t cause any problems in terms of fading, smudging or patchiness. Some sunscreens can still, sometimes, cause problems, so it’s a good idea to find one which doesn’t give your tan a hard time.
If you are still worried, leaving a time of 12-24 hours since initial application before applying any products to your freshly tanned skin is the best choice, so leaving it overnight is a good idea.
However, as mentioned, your fake tan potentially smudging isn’t the biggest problem at hand. Instead, it’s how your fake tan products can make your sunscreens ineffective. The reasons and explanation below are also the reasons why there aren’t any self-tanners or spray tanning solutions which also contain UV filters available on the markets.
No matter what type of tanning product you use, the chemical included that gives your skin its colour is known as dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA works by reacting with your upper skin cells upon contact, which leaves them with a pigment like no other – the thing we are all craving. However, during the various chemical reactions DHA causes, any UVA filters are also reactants, and this leaves chemical products which no longer protect your skin from the Sun.
In other words, your sunscreen’s UVA filters no longer work as they should. The best way to avoid this and prevent any unnecessary sun damage is by self-tanning the evening before, washing off the guide colour just before you go to sleep, and then leaving your skin overnight to allow the DHA to fully develop. Then, in the next morning, you can apply your sunscreen to any areas which will be exposed during the day, with confidence that you’re staying safe.
How can you stop it from ruining your fake tan?
While we can’t avoid sunscreen completely, there are some things we can do to stop it from potentially ruining our tans. Here are some ideas:
- Wait for 12-24 hours after application: if you’re looking for the most important way to prevent your sunscreen from interfering with or potentially ruining your fake tan, waiting 12-24 hours after the initial fake tan application is key.
- Moisturise your skin: while this won’t make a whole lot of difference as to whether sunscreen interferes with your tan, keeping your skin moisturised will improve the look of your fake tan overall, and it will prevent any unnecessary complications with the sunscreen.
- Always use a sunscreen: although this doesn’t prevent any fake tan problems, it’s worth emphasising the importance of still wearing a sunscreen every day, as it is essential in order to keep your skin healthy.
- Use a tan-friendly sunscreen: if you have a look at product reviews or do some research, you’ll be able to find some sunscreens which are, in fact, fake tan friendly, and have no chance of ruining your gorgeous new colour.
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To sum everything up, sunscreen won’t ruin your fake tan as long as you give it at least 12-24 hours after the application for the pigment to develop. What you do need to be careful of, however is that you are leaving this time to allow the DHA to be completely developed, so there’s no danger of it reacting with your sunscreen. Now you know all of this information, you can go outside in confidence that your tan won’t be ruined, and your skin will be protected!