Self-tanners, also known as sunless-tanners, are a popular way to achieve a bronzed look without the risks associated with sun exposure. It is well known that any amount of exposure to UV rays increases your risk of skin cancer. That is why self-tanners have become an essential product for people who want a sun-kissed look without the health risks.
How Self-Tanners Work
Self-tanners work by applying a chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) to the skin, which reacts with the amino acids in the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin to create a darkening effect. This process is known as the Maillard reaction, which is the same reaction that causes bread to turn golden brown when it is toasted. However, one of the most common issues with self-tanners is that they can start to look scaly or patchy towards the end of the tan. This generally takes 3 to 7 days, and when it occurs, it can leave the skin looking scaly.
Why Does My Self-Tanner Get Scaly?
- Natural Exfoliation - One of the primary causes of a scaly-looking fake tan is dead skin cells. As the top layer of skin naturally exfoliates, the self-tanner is removed along with it. This natural process can make the tan appear patchy or uneven. To prevent this, it's important to exfoliate the skin before applying self-tanner and to use a moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated. Exfoliation helps to remove the dead skin cells, which in turn helps the self-tanner adhere better to the skin. Additionally, using a moisturizer after applying self-tanner can help lock in moisture, making the tan last longer and appear more even.
- Sweating, Showering, and Swimming - Sweating can cause the self-tanner to fade or become patchy, while showering can cause it to wash off. To prevent this, it's important to avoid sweating or showering for at least 8 hours after applying self-tanner. If you must shower before this time, it's best to use lukewarm water and avoid using harsh soaps or scrubs that can strip the self-tanner from the skin. Be careful not to over exfoliate, as this will remove too much of the self-tanner from areas that may not have developed yet. Frequent trips to the pool, ocean, or lake can also result in the uneven fading of your self-tan, so be sure to exfoliate before doing those activities to minimize the effect they will have on your tan.These same rules of water exposure also apply to your face. If you use specially formulated self-tanner drops for your face, like our Flawless Finish Bronzing Drops, wash your face and exfoliate before applying. Also, brush your teeth before applying to make sure none of the self-tanner is accidentally removed from around the lips and mouth.
- Not Moisturizing - Self-tanners can dry out the skin of you do not moisturize properly. This can cause your skin to flake, making it look scaly. You should never apply self-tanner to dry, scaly skin without moisturizing it first. Remember, if your skin looks scaly before applying self-tanner, it will look scaly after applying the tanner as well. A good quality lotion or body butter can turn scaly skin into touchable, soft skin that is properly prepped for self-tanner.Not only is it important to moisturize and prep your skin before applying self-tanner, but it is also important to do it after the application when the self-tanner has completely developed. Moisturizing after the self-tanner has dried and developed can help keep the skin hydrated and prevent flaking. This will not only make the tan look better but will also help the tan last longer.
- Using Too Much Product - This is a common one. Many people love the results they get from their self-tanner and want to use more, but your skin can only absorb one thin layer of self-tanner at a time. Using too much self-tanner can cause the skin to look patchy. It's important to use a small amount of self-tanner and to blend it evenly over the skin.When applying self-tanner, it's best to use a mitt or other applicator to ensure even coverage and to avoid using too much product. Our buttery soft Glow by Skalla Bronzing Mitt will help you achieve the right amount of coverage. And for those hard-to-reach areas, we’ve designed the Glow by Skalla Bronzing Back Band. This band will help you reach every part of your back to ensure a light, even amount of product is distributed evenly over your skin.
- Lack of Maintenance - After achieving the desired tan, it is important to maintain it by moisturizing daily and exfoliating regularly. This will help to remove dead skin cells and maintain the evenness of the tan. Applying a light touch up layer of self-tanner is also very effective at preventing scaly or patchy results as your tan fades. Glow by Skalla recommends applying touchups weekly to maintain the beauty and even tone of your tan.
- Quality of the Self-Tanner Product You are Using - Not all self-tanners are created equal, and some may contain ingredients that can cause irritation or dryness. It's important to read the label and avoid subpar self-tanners. Your skin is one of the first things people notice about you. Investing in a high-quality self-tanner can be the difference between looking like you’ve spent two weeks in the French Riviera versus looking like you’ve rolled around in a bag of Doritos. At Glow by Skalla, our products have been uniquely formulated with violet undertones to combat orange hues. We use only the most nourishing ingredients, such as organic coconut oil with vitamin E to promote hydration and softness, organic glycerin to promote smooth application, and aloe leaf juice rich in vitamins A and C to promote moisturized and supple skin. Plus, our products are always vegan friendly, sulfate free, and paraben free!
Your Self-Tanner Never has to Look Scaly
A scaly-looking self-tan can be caused by a variety of factors, but many of these can be prevented by following a healthy self-tanning maintenance routine. Exfoliate properly, avoid excessive exposure to water, moisturize your skin regularly, avoid using too much product at one time, apply touchups as needed, and always use a self-tanner with high-quality ingredients. If you follow these simple tips and tricks, you will have an endless summer tan all year long!