Specializing in the latest non-surgical treatments

Fake Tan?

Fact: 1.3 million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year not to mention that 90% of skin damage, including wrinkles, brown spots and poorly textured skin, is a result of over exposure of the sun. This may be the time to consider alternatives to avoid being a statistic*

Many of my patients tell me they like the look of a tan, but would like to avoid the skin damage that results from sun bathing and over exposure to the sun. Fortunately, with the myriad of self-tanners and bronzers available on the market you can fake a fabulous tan and save your skin.

The key is learning how to apply a self tanner avoiding streaks, blotches, or unnatural color. Follow the multiple steps below for the most natural looking tan.

  • The first step is to prep the skin prior to application by smoothing the surface skin. Exfoliate the entire body with either a loofa sponge or cleanser with exfoliating beads, such as Aveeno Daily Scrub or LOreal Visibly Clean Foaming Cream Scrub Cleanser. This aids in even color distribution and helps prevent blotches.
  • Colors come in light, medium and dark. Choose the appropriate color for your skin tone. If you are fair, using a dark color it will only look fake.
  • Apply a moisturizing lotion to elbows, heels and knees, as these areas do not need to be darker.
  • During the application start with small sections of the body first, such as the face, arms, chest, etc. Complete one area before moving on to the next.
  • Wash your hands with soap immediately to avoid tan palms
  • If possible, do not wear any clothing for half an hour. Put on dark loose clothing and avoid sweating, exercise, rubbing your skin for three hours. This is how long it takes the fake tan to process.
  • Apply moisturizing lotion everyday for longer lasting color.

Self-tanners contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This is the active ingredient that adheres to the skins keratin creating the tan.


Some recommended products include:

  • Victorias Secret Bare Bronze Body.
  • Neutrogena Sunless Tanning Foam.
  • Bain De Soleil Streak Guard Cream.
  • Daily moisturizers, such as Jergens Natural Glow, contain a hint of DHA for a gradual tan.
  • For more products see Recommended Products Under $30.00.

More tips

Physicians Formula makes a variety of facial powder bronzers. Using a large fluffy brush add powder bronzer to the areas of the face the sun would naturally tan the skin such as the forehead, top of nose or cheek bones.

If you decide to wear a skirt or shorts and did not have time to apply a self tanner try the spray on bronzers such as Almay Bare It All legs, Sally Hansen Air Brush instant color or Revolotion (Available in salons or www.bliss.com )

Mystic tan is another great option for a natural looking tan. This natural looking fake tan is available in a salon (usually a tanning salon). The Mystic tan is an automatic spray on mist. There are how to videos and directions given prior to walking into a booth, about the size of a small closet. While undressed you face the front while the self-tanner is emitted through a sprayer for 30 seconds, then turn around and complete the process as it sprays your back. When complete you walk out and dry your skin immediately and then dress. I recommend wearing something loose and dark just in case some of the color bleeds onto your clothing. Do not exercise, shower or sweat for three hours. The look is natural and lasts a week or longer. The cost on average is $20.00 per session. Packages are available.


*Please, see my article on Safe Sun




Phone: (510) 435-6648

Fax: (510) 486-0518

Email: info@rn4beautifulskin.com
Appointments: 925-945-8656


Deborah is a registered nurse with over 17 years of experience helping thousands of women and men look years younger through the use of non-surgical skin treatments including Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, Restylane, Perlane, Radiesse, and Fraxel laser. Deborah is well known in Walnut Creek and the San Francisco Bay Area both as an expert practitioner of her profession and as a teacher and guest speaker for various women's organizations.
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