Logging you in, please wait...
You are logged in
Log in to your account

The new technology in tanning

From: Spa Beauty Geek,

The new technology in tanning

Since the original fake tan Coppertone hit the shelves in the 1960s, the bottled beauty buys have long been associated with an unattractive orange tone. However, times have (thankfully) changed and now we can all develop a streak-free golden brown tint in no time – good news for busy indoor types who want a convincing healthy-looking hue.

Most fake tans contain the chemical dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as the colour changing ingredient. Accidentally stumbled upon by German scientists in 1920 and derived from sugar beet and cane, this colourless sugar reacts with amino acids in the skin's surface to produce a brown tone on the skin. But thanks to the brains behind the beauty industry, there are now plenty of choices out there that develop that coveted colour in their own special ways. What will you go for?

Increase your melanin

The science part: That deep tan you love after a week in the sunshine is all down to melanin. Melanin is most commonly found in the deepest layer of your skin’s epidermis, but can also be found in the hair, the eyes, and strangely, the inner ear. Produced by melanocytes, melanin naturally reacts in UV light and is responsible for turning our skin a lovely shade of brown. When the sun shines, our brain’s pituitary gland (aka the home of hormones) is activated and sends out a stimulant to the melanocytes and our skin colour is slowly changed.

How to up your tan: The Elemis Sunwise Tan Accelerator is the safest way to enhance your melanin production in the run up to the summer sunshine or your holiday. By stimulating melanin production in advance, your tan may last a lot longer than usual. Also, the higher levels of melanin mean your skin is naturally protecting itself against the sun too – so this little wonder-tube is perfect for sensitive skins that burn easily. This moisturiser helps to nourish skin with macadamia and jojoba oil, so use it daily to activate your skin and prepare for the sunshine.

Instant tan

The science part: Gone are the transparent gels that were used to tan skin - now instant light colours are in, giving you a freshly faked look immediately while building up a long-lasting tan throughout the day. Thanks to the touch of colour, you're able to easily see where you've applied your product while also looking instantly bronzed. Moving on from tans that required you to wash off excess residue in the shower, new tanning products look believable right away - so much so that there is often no need to wash it off.

How to up your tan: The St Moriz Instant Self Tanning range is a miracle invention for tan addicts, and priced around the £3 mark you can’t go wrong with this beauty staple. Hailed as the high-street’s high-end product despite its low price, the chocolate cream glides onto skin and dries within seconds, leaving behind an instant veil of subtle tan that develops throughout the day. Using a mitt (the only downside to this product is that it stains hands quickly), lightly cover the skin with a thin layer to look bronzed for up to seven days.

Gradual tans

The science part: Weaker than its quick and glow sister, gradual tan slowly darkens the skin with each application. Containing a smaller percentage of DHA, the product has a higher ratio of moisturiser to tanning product – making it an ideal sun solution for dry skins. Lightly changing the colour of the top layer of skin, these gradual tanners build up the bronze with each application, providing a slow transformation from pale princess to glam goddess.

With the first mainstream gradual tanner being the Johnson’s trusty yellow bottle a few years back, these tanners have moved on from a greasy formula that smelt highly of DHA to rich and velvety moisturisers that we love. The ease of application and subtle tones have made them so popular that many brands include small percentages of DHA into their products for extra effect, and many anti-ageing creams now incorporate it for a youth-boosting bonus.

How to up your tan: Even with hundreds of gradual tanners on the market, we can’t resist the familiar scent of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze gradual tanning moisturiser. Packed with cocoa butter and vitamin E, this product is a must for all day long soft skin and a smell that is good enough to eat.

Far safer than sitting out in the sun and risking sunburn, fake tanning is the only way to go when it comes to looking stylish and summer-ready this season. Whether you smooth your glow on daily in a moisturiser, spray it on for a fast and flawless effect or try a new trick of science to develop into a bronzed beauty, tanning is now a modern phenomenon we can’t bear to live without - so pick a tanning method that suits you and you'll never look back.

Share this

Writer and complete web geek who loves pampering, owns far too many unused make-up products and can't say no to a bargain. As a member of the Editorial team at Wahanda, nothing gets us excited more than a new beauty product or reading about the latest health craze - as long as it doesn't involve cutting out chocolate...

See my profile »

More Entries

Spa of the week: May Fair Spa, part of Radisson Edwardian Hotel Spas

Spa of the week: Amida Spa, Chelsea

Tried and tested: James Read's Sleep Mask Tan

Tried and tested: Deep Pore-Cleansing Facial at Clinica Fiore

Tried and tested: The Vale Spa

Wahanda loves: beauty treatments from around the world

Wahanda loves: Arabian spa treatments - rasuls, hammams and floatation

Spa of the week: St Pancras Spa at St. Pancras Renaissance

Wahanda guide: try a new exercise inspired by the Olympics

Wahanda news: steal the style from the Olympic village

Wahanda news: indulge in a five-hour treatment at Thailand's Conran hotel

Chanel opens pop up shop in London

Olympic hideaways

Top pick: spa breaks by the British seaside

Spa of the week: Omorovicza

Fun ways to de-stress before a wedding

Look perfect at the poolside with waterproof make up

Tried and tested: Evolve Organic Beauty

Take the spa along in your suitcase with mini beauty products

Spa of the week: Champneys Forest Mere

Marital bliss - top European honeymoon spa resorts

Try out a new form of exercise at the Sport with Style event

Top five countryside spa retreats

Top men’s beauty treatments

Festival beauty must-haves

Pre-festival beauty planning

Natural spa escapes worldwide

Tried and tested: Transformulas Hydration Gold

Motivation Monday- game, set, match

The complete guide to fake tan for problem skins

Facialist to the stars Su-Man shares top tips for good skin

Spa hen parties – the new way to celebrate

Spa of the week: Rockliffe Hall

Pre-wedding beauty treatment checklist

Motivation Monday- get happy and healthy for summer

Men-only spas and salons

The Wahanda guide to men's makeup

Male grooming: top treatments around the UK

Wahanda's pick of the best gradual tanners

Spa of the week: Ragdale Hall

Motivation Monday- don't forget Father's Day

9 in 10 women over 30 avoid exercise due to lack of self-esteem

Pre-holiday beauty treatment checklist

The foolproof guide to SPF

Spa of the week: The Kohler Waters Spa

Tried and tested: GOSH Gradual Tan

Motivation Monday- Happy Jubilee!

Jubilee Nails and Union Jack nail art

Jubilee beauty treats

Motivation Monday- looking forward to the Jubilee celebrations

Treatments to keep feet happy and healthy

The Wahanda community: prepare for your holiday

The new fitness trend: mini power workouts

Sea-inspired beauty treats

Try an Ayurvedic workshop in Leicester

Floral beauty heroes - harness the flower power

Spa of the week: The Carrick Spa at Carrick House

Musculoskeletal therapist joins COMO Shambhala at London Metropolitan Hotel

Motivation Monday- it's a new dawn, it's a new day

How to tone up your body bit by bit

The iconic beauty products we'll always love

Tried and tested: Pinks Boutique

Christian Louboutin to launch beauty products

Spa of the week: The Retreat at Czaro

Londoners - ditch the tube and do a Home Run

Get out there and exercise in the great outdoors

Botox to be offered on the NHS

Motivation Monday- competition time

The Wahanda community: get sun safe and beach body ready

Win £200 Wahanda vouchers and a year's supply of dresses at Wish Want Wear

Makeup map of Britain

Celebrate National Honey Week with bee-auty treats

Spa of the week: Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden

Why exercise is for more than just losing weight

The Wahanda community - be sun safe and fake it

Travel essentials for the sunshine

Half of girls 'put off exercise' by school PE lessons

Protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun

Tried and tested: Beauty Works Diamond Peel Kit for Face and Body

Turn your spare time into me-time

Nail guru Sophy Robson launches nail art bar Nailporn

Spa of the week: The Rowhill Grange Hotel and Utopia Spa

Tried and tested: Betty Hula body moisturisers and the secret oil

Making the beauty industry go green with Beauty Recycled

Motivation Monday - the sun is shining

Celebrate International Dance Day 2012

The Wahanda community - this week's health and beauty questions

Unleash the power of beetroot for better exercise

Power Plate trainer’s trek to Machu Picchu for the Ben Kinsella trust

Spa of the week: The Waterfall Spa

England's best celebrity health and beauty tricks

Motivation Monday- Happy St George's Day

The Wahanda community - this week’s Q&A

How to fight hay fever the natural way

Spa of the week: Aromatherapy Associates

Tried and tested: Aromatherapy Associates Essential Skincare Set

London Marathon 2012- top tips to start running

Motivation Monday

Tried and tested: Melvita Apicosma honey-based range

Stay lucky on Friday 13th with health and beauty tips

New research demonstrates link between food intolerance and weight gain

Edinburgh Salt Cave celebrates World Asthma Day

Twitter takeover – expert tips on health, fitness and nutrition