Whether you frequent a beach, sit in your own backyard or prefer to stay out of the rays altogether, you will probably need some help getting that perfect sun tan. There are vast amounts of sun tan lotions and sunless tanning lotions out there, not to mention the growing number of organic tanning lotions for the chemically-conscious consumer. The sun worshipper has never had more choice when it comes to bronzing their body, so here are some things to consider when shopping for tanning lotion.
There are different lotions for different purposes and if you're preparing to head outdoors for a day of sun tanning, you'll want to avoid most tanning oils. They are generally made for indoor tanning as they work without sunlight to alter your skin tone and provide no UV sun protection. If you want to get a sun tan the traditional way (and avoid sunburn) use a sun tan lotion with UVB protection instead.
If you are worried about all of the chemicals listed on the back of sun tan lotion bottle, there are quite a few organic tanning lotions available that give the protective benefits of regular tanning lotion but with natural ingredients. These are often scented with essential oils and make use of moisturizing plant extracts that contain a natural resistance to UV rays. However, these can be a little more expensive than your regular brand. If you want to save money and go completely natural you can make your own sun tan lotion, but beware: although shea butter, avocado and sesame oil all offer some UV protection you will likely need additional protection against sunburn.
For those that would rather avoid the sun altogether, there are several products that will give you a beautiful tanned appearance. Sunless tanning lotion containing DHA is a great option as it works by chemically reacting with the surface of the skin rather than simply dying it. The lotion is rubbed or sprayed on and will be absorbed within hours with the tan lasting for up to ten days. For a more temporary sun tan consider a bronzer: they can be found in many forms and, like make-up, will wash off with soap and water. However, like make-up, a bronzer can rub off onto clothing and could end up looking orange rather than bronze if applied hastily.