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Moisturizers & Tanning

This site is all about getting really tan. Moisturizers, without a doubt, are one of the most important aspects of your overall tanning lifestyle. In my quest to look my personal best and get really tan, the following information is a cornerstone of my tanning routine and philosophy. This is a long and involved article, but is well worth your time and will help you take your tan to the next level. Knowledge is power in the world of tanning.

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Sun Tanners - Why Use Moisturizer?

All of us like to have supple, smooth skin as well as a nice glow from the sun. Moisturizers not only moisten our skin but also lock in and improve our tans. Perhaps most importantly, they prevent our skin from drying out which tends to happen if you tan a lot (the sun's rays tend to cause dry skin without use of a good moisturizer). Some moisturizers even have tanning aids to further provide the desired bronze effect.

Who Should Use Moisturizer?

Woman Applying Tanning Moisturizer
©iStockphoto.com – loooby
Technically, moisturizers are just products that help keep skin from drying out by adding additional moisture. Realistically, they are lifesavers that give us the smooth and supple skin we were not born with. They are great for men or women, and some are designed for children's use as well. While some manufacturers make products geared specifically for the guys or girls, or the kids, many moisturizers are considered unisex and suitable for use by anyone. If you're looking to get a really sexy tan, moisturizers will become an important part of your tanning routine because sun exposure (both indoor and outdoor) tends to dry out your skin. Remember to heed all warning labels that manufacturers include.

How Do Moisturizers Work?

Moisturizers generally work by pushing moisture deep into the layers of skin at the surface. While moisturizers can't penetrate deep enough to repair underlying damaged skin they do moisturize the top layers of skin giving our skin a healthy, smooth appearance. While some dermatologists and healthcare professionals believe that moisturizers are predominantly a waste of money, many of us find that our skin needs a good moisturizer year round and we use them winter and summer (sun tanning season) to protect and keep our skin looking great. If you tan a lot, moisturizer will become your best friend.

Moisturizers & The Healthy Tanning Lifestyle

Using a good moisturizer is not a substitute for an overall healthy lifestyle. Moisturizers only work on the surface layers of the skin, it's up to us to eat right, get proper rest, and exercise to keep the underlying layers of our skin healthy and supple. All of this ties into what we like to call the tanning lifestyle, a lifestyle of taking care of yourself, working out, getting really tan, and looking your absolute best. There are many benefits of tanning. Combine these with sleep, exercise, and regular use of moisturizer and you're on your way to the best possible lifestyle, a lifestyle that will bring you tanning success.

What Are The Different Types of Moisturizers For Sun Tanners?

There are moisturizers available for all skin types, including:

  • Dry Skin
  • Oily Skin
  • Normal Skin
  • Combination Skin
  • Sensitive Skin

Along with moisturizers developed specifically for our skin type, there are three basic types of moisturizers available. Each is used for a different reason and will have different ingredients. These include:

  • Gels - The lightest form of moisturizer.
  • Lotions The second lightest moisturizer, but the most popular type.
  • Creams - The least popular and the heaviest of moisturizers.

The type of moisturizer that is right for you depends on what you are applying it for. If you are heading out for a day at the beach, or where you're going to be heavily exposed to sun and wind, you will want a moisturizer that has an SPF of at least 15. Some offer tanning aids (such as Hawaiian Tropic Island Glow) which can assist you in getting a golden tan. Moisturizers that have tanning aids included keep the skin supple while you get the golden bronze look of a celebrity! If you are staying indoors, and use a moisturizer during the daytime, a lighter gel insures that you can prevent greasy skin. Overnight moisturizers are often heavier but can penetrate deep within the layers of skin to help smooth out signs of aging. If you have a sunburn (it happens to the best of us!), an overnight deep moisturizer can be a lifesaver.

Choosing The Best Moisturizer

Woman Applying Moisturizer To Her Tan Legs
©iStockphoto.com – 1001nights
You may now be wondering how in the world to choose the type of moisturizer that is right for you. [As a side note, add a large amount of water intake to your daily routine (we're supposed to drink 6-8 8-ounce glasses a day anyway) to make sure you are doing your part to keep your skin hydrated.] Choosing the wrong moisturizer leaves your skin too dry or too greasy, can cause pimples or blackheads, and can be a real embarrassment overall. To help with choosing the right moisturizer, remember a few simple tips.

  1. Watch the label. Some moisturizers work best on the face, others are designed for body moisturizing. Moisturizers that are designed for facial use are also great to use on the neck as well.
  2. Check for UVA and UVB protection. These may be important if you get a lot of sun exposure outside of your regularly scheduled indoor and outdoor tanning sessions. For example, after enjoying an indoor tanning session for the maximum time, you will want to use moisturizer with UV protection if you intend to spend time in the sun later that day. Getting really tan is all about controlling your tanning sessions and being smart. Moisturizer with UV protection is a great way to have added control over your sun tanning sessions.
  3. Keep any allergies in mind when you read the label. This will help avoid a painful, unsightly, or dangerous skin reaction.
  4. Make sure the moisturizer has a low alcohol content. The higher the alcohol content, the more it will dry out your skin.
  5. Take your age into consideration when reviewing labels. Older skin tends to be drier skin, so watch for moisturizers that are designed to hydrate and renew skin for maximum benefit. Some moisturizers also help fight the signs of aging, by helping to smooth wrinkles or lines in the skin.

If your skin has a tendency to develop acne or is oily, avoid creams. Sticking to gels and lotions will ensure that you do not over-moisturize and make the problem worse. Consider a gel or lotion that contains salicylic acid to help clear up acne and reduce oiliness. Also, look for moisturizers that have exfoliating ingredients. These also help fight acne and keep dead skin from building up on the face. Extremely dry skin needs help retaining natural moisture in addition to adding moisture. Look for creams that contain glycerin or dimethicone.

Those that have sensitive skin will need moisturizers that help soothe irritation. Find a moisturizer that contains ingredients like vitamin C, green tea, and similar natural soothers. Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free formulas are highly recommended.

Applying Your Moisturizer To Lock In Your Tan

Remember, experts say that the best time to put on moisturizer is right after you bathe. Your skin responds best at this time. Whether you buy an overnight cream or a daytime cream (or both), use it as soon as you finish toweling off for the best results. If you moisturize right after drying off, your skin will retain more water from your bath/shower and the moisturizer will thus help your skin help itself. This is a great way to keep your skin healthy and lock in your golden tan that you have worked so hard to achieve. My personal routine: visit my local tanning salon, take a relaxing shower or bath when I have the time, apply moisturizer right away to lock in my tan.

Conclusion - Which Moisturizers Are Best For Tanning?

Overall, there is no perfect moisturizer for any skin type. Expensive brands often work just as well as inexpensive ones, and price does not indicate any guarantee that the particular moisturizer will work any better overall that another cheaper brand. It may take some sampling to find one that works well for you. Many websites offer free samples of different moisturizers, so feel free to shop around before settling on one particular type (unless you hit the jackpot on the first try). If you need help, ask a professional. Pharmacists and dermatologists can always recommend a cream, lotion, or gel (not necessarily a prescription) that would work for your skin type. Sometimes your doctor can help as well. However you choose your moisturizer, keep your body healthy and lock in your golden tan you have worked so hard to achieve.

Want Really Tan's recommendation? As you know, I really like Hawaiian Tropic products because they work great and are a super value. I have already written strong reviews for Hawaiian Tropic's lineup of indoor and outdoor tanning lotions including Hawaiian Tropic T2 Max Indoor Lotion, Hawaiian Tropic SPF 12 Outdoor Lotion, and Hawaiian Tropic SPF 6 Outdoor Oil. It will come as no surprise that there are two more Hawaiian Tropic products I highly recommend: Hawaiian Tropic's Island Glow and also Hawaiian Tropic's Lime Coolada "after sun moisturizer". Island Glow is a great moisturizer and "sunless" tanning lotion. It moisturizes your skin while giving you a tan. Lime Coolada is a great moisturizer that helps lock in and extend your tan. Overall, really enjoy the Hawaiian Tropic lineup because their products are high quality at affordable prices. Tanning is like a competitive sport. Want to win? Make sure to learn as much about moisturizers and use them to lock in, deepen, and improve your golden tan.

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