In Arizona, summer always seems to arrive early. Even though the official first day of summer is not until June 21st, it is clear that the summer heat and long days of sunshine are already here to stay. Bronzmopolitan is already filling up with people seeking tans for summer vacations, pool parties, graduations, holidays, and all of the fun summer has to offer. We want to give you all high fives for practicing safe sun and achieving a fabulous, golden tan by way of spray tanning! The next step is to protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays by loading up on sunscreen every day, especially if you will be exposed for long periods of time.
A common question we get asked at the salon is, "Will sunscreen harm my spray tan?" Well, the truth is that yes, depending on which sunscreen you are using you could end up shortening the life of your spray tan due to the ingredients drying out your skin and causing the tan to fade. Actually, this is true for any product you put on your skin from lotions and perfumes to soaps & shower gels. But the purpose of this post is to talk about sunscreen, so let's get to it.
The first thing to note about sunscreen is that it is different than sunblock. The main difference is that sunscreen allows your skin to absorb the sun's rays, meaning you still will get tan (or sunburned if you do not apply enough). Sunblock, on the other hand, blocks the sun's rays all together. It is usually white in color, and does not absorb into your skin (an example is zinc oxide). Sunscreen is more popular since it is clear once absorbed into skin, and also allows us to develop some color from the sun. Most sunscreens need to be applied every few hours, especially after exposure to water. Note that the FDA recommends an SPF of 15 or higher! You made need a higher SPF depending on how fair your skin is.
When choosing a sunscreen that won't harm your spray tan, there are 2 ingredients you want to avoid: oil and alcohol. Alcohol and the types of oils used in sunscreens are NOT moisturizing and will break down your tan! Unfortunately, most sunscreens contain at least one, if not both of these ingredients. We recommend that no matter which sunscreen you choose, you moisturize from head to toe with a good quality moisture cream or lotion first. Next apply one of these great sunscreens that have ditched the oil and alcohol, and therefore won't dry out your skin or fade your tan:
This sunscreen lotion is available in SPF 30 and SPF 55. It contains NO oil or fragrance, so it is delicate on skin and spray tans. It is water resistant and protects from UVA/UVB sun rays. Although it is called "clear face," it is perfect for use on the face AND body.
If you are looking for quick and convenient application, this spray on sunscreen may be for you. Also oil free, this sunscreen comes in SPF 30 and SPF 45 and is applied by way of a light mist. This sunscreen is ideal for the body (not the face) as it is easy to apply to hard-to-reach areas. This sunscreen contains a small amount of alcohol, so we recommend moisturizing skin with a thick, good quality moisturizer before application.
Coppertone has a line of oil-free sunscreens that are hypoallergenic and also contain no fragrance. Faces comes in SPF 30 and body comes in SPF 15. This sunscreen is also water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Keep in mind that long dips in the pool, ocean, or lake will dry out your skin and break down your spray tan faster, so keep swimming sessions short!
This is a light weight formula that comes in SPF 30 for UVA/UVB protection. It is recommended for full body use, but is not water proof. You will need to reapply after swimming and toweling off. This sunscreen contains a small amount of alcohol, so be sure to use in addition to a good quality, thick moisturizer.
An excellent option for easy application, this sunscreen is applied in a gentle mist and is alcohol and oil free. Available in SPF 50 and SPF 30, it provides broad spectrum protection from UVA/UVB rays. It is recommended for body and face, but is not water proof so will have to be applied after swimming.
There are many other sunscreens out there that won't harm your tan, these were just to name a few. Always check the bottle for the words "oil-free" and "alcohol-free" and always choose an SPF high enough for your skin type. Look for the word "Helioplex" as well, these sunscreens provide longer UVA/UVB protection than the normal sunscreens. You may look tan with your airbrush or spray tan, but underneath remember how fair your skin really is! After a day in the sun, remember to moisturize like crazy. If you are careful never to let your skin dry out, then your spray tan should last 7 to 10 days
Now, get outside and enjoy some fun in the sun, but always get your tan first indoors at Bronzmopolitan. Cheers!!