If you're craving a summer tan but worried about those
damaging ultraviolet rays, a self-tanner might be
just the thing.
News 8's Martha Koloski has more.
In today's On Your Side.
Consumer Reports ShopSmart checked out six popular
tanning sprays and lotions to see if they offer a
Marissa Graham has fair skin that burns easily.
When she wants a tan, Marissa sprays it on.
Marissa Graham, I think I look a lot better when I'm
Once a week I probably put it on to give myself a
little more color." Consumer Reports checked out
six self-tanners ranging from about eight dollars
to 35 dollars.
To test, a panel of volunteers wore patches, so the
skin underneath could be used as a reference.
Then testers applied tanning sprays or lotions to
the volunteers' arms.
All contain dihydroxyacetone, a chemical that reacts
with the skin's outer layer to create a darker color.
"It takes about four hours to really get the full
And then you need a second follow-up application about
a day later to get really the deep tan you really
are looking for." When the patches were removed,
Consumer Reports experts compared the skin underneath
with the skin that was colored.
One lotion produced an orange color that was sometimes
It's Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning lotion.
Another problem: odor.
SOT: Sue Byrne "Some of them didn't really smell so
great." But testers did find a favorite: L'Oreal
Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Mist in Medium Natural
It gave the most natural-looking results, for around
ten dollars a bottle.
When Marissa Graham spray tans, she says you can really
see the difference.
Marissa Graham, "When I wear white dresses in the
summer, this kind of makes more contrast that makes
me look better." Even though sunless tanners can
give you a glow, Consumer Reports warns they don't
provide sun protection, so you'll want to wear a sunscreen.
And about that ingredient dihydroxyacetone - some
people are allergic to it, so try the tanner on a
small area to see if you react before applying it
And avoid inhaling or getting it in your eyes.