Are Self-Tanners Safe For Your Skin?

Even though summer is drawing to an end many of us are still rocking fake tans well beyond the warmer months. Everyone loves that sexy tan glow on the skin but do we know if self-tanners are safe and how they work? Let's break it down and I'll share with you my top recommendations for your skin from an Esthetician standpoint.

What are self-tanners made of?

Self-tanners are generally made of something called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which is a color additive. DHA will bind to the proteins in the skin which causes the darkening effect of a tan. Since this occurs on the surface, it will only last five to 7 (sometimes longer) days before it begins to come off during your skin's normal exfoliation process. 

Is it safe?

So far, it has been suggested that self-tanning is relatively safe although there haven't been enough studies to completely rule either way and the long-term effects of using lotion tanners or other forms of self-tanners is not currently known. One study did determine that DHA damaged skin cells' DNA which means there need to be more studies to uncover the safety for long term use.  Also, it is only approved for external use and nothing should be taken internally to achieve skin-changing effects. As far as allergic reactions, dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is typically derived from plant sources so few allergic reactions have occurred. 

Since there's not enough information that determines whether or not this is okay to use long-term and with one test indicating cellular DNA damage, I would recommend taking breaks and not using these products consistently for long periods of time. Also, using products from the Bella Aura Skincare line will help assist the revival, healing, and regenerative processes of the cells. 

Can you use the same self-tanner on the body AND face?

It's recommended to use a different self-tanner for the face since our skin is much more reactive there than our body. Since our facial skin may fall under different categories (dry, oily, sensitive, acne-prone) - finding a self-tanner that will work with these skin types is key. 

Will it cause breakouts on acne-prone or sensitive skin types?

Yes, some of them can. That's why it's important to look for non-comedogenic formulas. It should state on the bottle or company website if it is non-comedogenic. If you don't see any info, you can always write in and ask them.

What are the best ones out there?

I've compiled a list on Amazon that has been rated super high and will work with all skin types! None of these will give you the Cheeto look 🚫!

Beauty By Earth Self Tanner

No 1: Beauty By Earth Self Tanner - Noncomedogenic and safe for all skin types. Available on Amazon. The rating is 4.3 Stars. Currently $29.99.

COOLA Organic Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum, Daily Gradual Self Tanner, Pina Colada, 1.7 fl oz

No. 2: COOLA Organic Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum, Daily Gradual Self Tanner, Pina Colada, 1.7 fl oz - Beautiful gradual tan that has some anti-aging benefits for the skin. Available on Amazon. The rating is 4.3 Stars. Currently $54.

Jergens Natural Glow Oil-Free with SPF 20
 No. 3: Jergens Natural Glow with SPF 20 - Gradual self-tanner, moisturizes and protects from the sun. Oil-free. Available on Amazon. The rating is 4.5 Stars. Currently $8.62.   

Tan Towel Face Tan

No 4: Tan Towel Face Tan Wipes. Easy and convenient. A great alternative for those who prefer non-self-tan lotions and liquids. Available on Amazon. The rating is 4.2 stars. Currently $30. 


*Avari Beauty will earn a small percentage of sales from these Amazon links. We appreciate your support for our research and work to put this together for you. 

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published