Self Tanning Creams –, June 9, 2008
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Self Tanning Creams –, June 9, 2008

Self Tanning Creams Give Differing Results


We all know sitting out in the sun and getting as brown as a baked potato isn’t good for you. But what about those tanning creams? Do they actually work and should you use them?

To find out, CityNews took a guinea pig in the form of one of our interns and spread all kinds of the lotions at strategic places where a tan would look best. Among the products tested: Clairins Delicious Self Tanning Cream, the most expensive at $40, Biotherm’s $30 Sun Tan, a $15 self-tanning lotion and Life brand’s ultra-cheap $11 Bronze Up.

The results: the most expensive product appeared to do the best job at least for the subject in this case.

“The most expensive one was the best because of the way you applied it,” explains Amanda, our patient zero. “It was really smooth … You don’t see any streaks.”

The others were either streaky or too close to compare.

But either way, Amanda wasn’t completely impressed. “It’s really difficult to tell,” she admits. “All I know is I wouldn’t tan this colour …  They’re all a little bit too dark and orange for me.”

As to how to prevent looking like a carrot, one expert suggests first using a test spot that won’t show so you can see what you’re in for. “It’s important to find something that is great for your skin colour,” advises dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett. “Most people who are very fair do very well with it. It’s more like a blank canvas but other people have to be careful.”

That’s one of the drawbacks of the creams, no matter what kind you use. But it’s not the only one. Don’t get the idea most of them can properly protect you from the harmful rays of the blazing sun.

“Even though you’re getting a glow to your skin with it, it is not protecting your skin,” warns the doctor. “So you do need to use some sort of sun block with it.”

There are self-tanners that come with suntan lotion. Just make sure it’s an S.P.F. 30 or higher. Otherwise, you may have to apply a sun block separately, ironically so a real tan never gets in the way of your fake one.

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