Can You Tan With Self-Tanner On?

tanning in the sun

Are you using self-tanners and plan to step out in the sun? Do you often wonder can you tan with a self tanner on? 

The simple answer is – yes, you might still be able to tan even if you are using self-tanner. If you have a fake tan on, it only affects the upper layer of your skin. However, when you decide to go in the sun with a fake tan on, it will affect the deepest layer of the skin and darken the skin tone. 

However, it is imperative to be cautious while tanning outside if you have a fake tan.

Dive right in to learn more about getting a dark skin tan naturally while having a self-tanner on. 

Is It Possible To Get a Natural Tan With Self-Tanner On?

If you’re still questioning if you can still get a tan with self tanner on, it is vital for you to understand how both of them work.

Natural tan from the sunlight works in a different way than self-tanners. Owing to it, it is possible to develop a tan, even if you already have a base tan from self-tanners. While self-tanners can only give you a temporary and artificial tan, natural sunlight darkens the skin for much longer.

When it comes to self-tanners, they work by darkening the skin with the help of a unique chemical called DHA or Dihydroxyacetone. DHA is responsible for reacting with the amino acids present in the dead skin cells in the epidermis, which is the upper layer of the skin. This reaction leads to the darkening of your skin that can stimulate a tan.

There are two layers present in the epidermis – stratum basale and stratum corneum. Stratum basale is the deepest layer affected only by natural radiation from the sun. On the other side, the stratum corneum is the outermost layer of your skin that reacts to self-tanning products.

Both self-tanners and sunlight can work to give your skin a tanned look, but in completely different ways and in separate layers of the skin. Since self-tanners only affect the outer layer of dead cells, it fades away when these cells are released from your skin. You have to re-apply self-tanners because of the same reason.

When you step outside to tan, both UVA and UVB rays from the sunlight can interact with the skin cells to develop a darker pigment. Even if you have a base tan from self-tanning products, you will still be able to develop a deeper natural tan.

Is It Safe to Suntan While You Have a Fake Tan?

Can you still tan with a spray tan or self-tanner? Yes, you can still sit out in the sun to develop a natural tan. However, it is not entirely safe. Self-tanners can help give your skin a brown look but do not offer any protection.

Most of the self-tanning products like gels and mousse don’t contain any SPF, and the ones that have SPF aren’t able to offer the required level of protection. So, tanning while wearing a self-tanner will not protect you against the harmful effects of UV radiation.

Whenever you are stepping out in the sunlight, it is wise to apply sunscreen that has at least SPF 20 once the self-tanner has dried. Use only quality sunscreen to keep you safe from both UVA and UVB radiation. Make sure you also reapply sunscreen every two hours to prevent premature aging of your skin.

While some people think that fake tan stops you from getting a real tan, it doesn’t. Since both sunlight and self-tanners target different layers of your skin, you can develop a dark and even looking tan. Make sure you remember all the precautions to ensure you can minimize skin damage.   

Tips to Tan Safely Self-Tanner On:

The people who have achieved a base tan with self-tanners neglect the precautions that can protect their skin. If you‘re planning to lounge in the sun to develop a natural and dark tan, here are few essential tips you must keep in mind:

Prep Your Skin:

Before you decide to tan, it is essential to prepare your skin, despite the method you choose. You must keep your skin hydrated with a soothing body lotion until the day of tanning to ensure you get smooth and even tan.

Besides that, exfoliate your skin a day before to get rid of the dead skin cells and get tanned on healthy skin. 

Shave or Wax 24 Hours Before:

If you wish to shave or wax your skin, you must do it 24 hours prior to your tanning appointment. It will help prepare your skin and give it enough time to settle for the tan. Doing it after the tan will only strip it away and defeat the entire purpose. For more on this check our article – can you get a spray tan or real tan after waxing.

Change Your Position Frequently:

While tanning outside in the sun, make sure you keep changing your position every 20 minutes to get an even tan and avoid skin burning.

Related Questions: 

Does Self-Tanner Make You Tan Faster?

Self-tanner can give your skin a dark tan, although it doesn’t interfere with the natural tan process. So, it cannot help you tan faster in the sun. 

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