A glowing, golden tan can make you look healthier and is great for the summer months.
There are several different ways to achieve this lovely glow, like tanning lotion, tanning foam, and gradual tan moisturizer.
Another of those methods is tanning oils.
But what are tanning oils? Do they work? And how do you use them?
These questions race around your mind, and no matter what you do, you can’t find the answers you need.
The last thing you want is to end up with a patchy tan or one too dark! So what can you do?
Well, you can stick with us! We have put together this useful guide to tell you everything you need to know about tanning oils.
Keep reading to find out more.
What Are Tanning Oils?
Tanning oil is a product that you apply to your skin that accelerates the natural tanning process.
It will help you to develop a tan much faster and will ensure that it is more even.
Tanning oil also offers protection against the sun.
It is ideal for people who want to spend a lot of time outdoors and tan naturally, but perhaps deeper and more intensely than they usually do from just being in the sun.
It is not a ‘fake tan’, but it helps you to make the most of your natural tan.
Related: Best Self Tanning Products
How Do Tanning Oils Work?
If you have never tried tanning oils before then you might be wondering if they work or if they are just a waste of money.
Tanning oils are effective at accelerating and improving the natural tanning process.
Tanning oils work by attracting the ultraviolet ray from the sun so they are more focused on your skin.
The UV rays cause your skin to produce melanin, a pigment that colors your skin.
This intensifies the effect of the sun’s rays on your skin, making you tan faster and develop a richer color.
Some tanning oils include bronzers to intensify the tanning process even further.
These bronzers are usually sugar-based and react with the amino acids on the outer layer of your skin to produce a bronze color.
This color will wear off as the outer layer of skin peels away.
Most tanning oils also have moisturizing ingredients in them to keep your skin from getting dry.
Tanning and spending extended amounts of time in the sun can dehydrate your skin. The dryer your skin gets, the quicker it will peel and your tan will fade.
By keeping your skin moisturized your skin will be golden and glowing for longer.
Are Tanning Oils Safe To Use?
Further Reading: b. tan tanned AF products overview
Whilst tanning oils are a great way to achieve a golden glow, there are some risks involved.
The UV rays from the sun that cause your skin to change color can also damage your skin cells and cause dangerous mutations.
These mutations can lead to cancerous cells developing, which can lead to severe health complications.
Some tanning oils are beginning to include some SPF and UVB protection. However, the protection is low and not enough to provide your skin with the barrier it needs.
It is recommended that you use an SPF of 30 or above and reapply it every two hours to adequately protect your skin.
This could hinder the results of the tanning oil.
There are some sun creams or sunblock gels that are compatible with tanning oils, but they are usually around SPF 15 which means that your skin won’t be fully protected.
Some people are more susceptible to sun damage and skin cancer than others, depending on their skin type.
If you have very pale skin and you tend to burn easily and find it difficult to tan, then you are more likely to be at risk.
If you have a lot of moles then you are also more at risk.
How Do You Use Tanning Oils?
Tanning oil is applied with your hands.
Pour the desired amount onto your hands and rub it evenly across your skin. The more even you are with your application, the more even your tan will be.
You should be methodical to ensure that you don’t miss any areas of skin, and apply the oil in a circular motion to avoid it from being streaky.
Make sure that you are gentle on the sensitive areas of your skin, like your face. The oil should absorb into your skin and leave it feeling soft.
You can reapply the tanning oil every 2 to 5 hours depending on your skin type, and how intense you want your tan to be.
If you are very active whilst you are outdoors and you sweat a lot then you will need to apply it more regularly.
If you go swimming then you will need to reapply the oil when you get out of the water.
If you are going to be sedentary and sunbathing, or you don’t want to tan too quickly then reapply the oil less regularly.
If you apply the tanning oil too frequently then you will be at risk of sunburn, so make sure you are sensible.
You could also develop acne or skin irritation. Before you apply the tanning oil to your whole body, apply it to a small area first.
Leave it for 24 hours to see if your skin has any kind of negative reaction to the oil.
If you experience pain, burning, irritation, or a rash then you should wash your skin with warm water immediately and not use the product again.
Summary: Do Tanning Oils Work?
Tanning oils work to help you develop a better tan when you spend time outdoors.
They can put you at risk of health conditions and sunburn if you do not take the proper precautions.
Tanning oil is better suited to people who find it easy to tan naturally but want a deeper color and a quicker result.
If you have very fair skin and you burn easily in the sun then tanning oil could be too risky for you, as you should prioritize protecting your skin from the UV rays rather than attracting them.
You could try a fake tan product like tanning lotion, tanning drops, or tanning foam.