“How to use tanning accelerators effectively” is a collaborative post.

What is a tanning accelerator?

Considered to be the must-have product for those who love a golden glow, a tanning accelerator is a product that makes you tan faster and deeper. It is most commonly used in conjunction with sunbed sessions but can be applied before sunbathing outdoors too.

How do they work?

Tanning accelerators are formulated to help prepare the skin for sun exposure. They work by boosting melanin production to kickstart the tanning process and help ensure longer-lasting results. The key ingredient to look out for is tanositol. 

Remember that, according to the NHS and British Association of Dermatologists, it’s better for your skin to ‘fake it until you make it’. However, if you’ll be out and about in the sunshine regardless, tanning accelerators are a great way to maximise the visual results of this exposure. 

Always use alongside SPF to ensure that your skin is protected as much as possible against UV rays. Most tanning accelerators do not contain SPF, so apply suncream before use.

Choosing the right product

There is a wide range of tanning accelerator products to choose from. Finding the right product for you depends on your experience with tanning and the look you hope to achieve. 

If you’re new to tanning or have particularly pale or sensitive skin, go for a maximiser lotion. These are designed for beginners with deeply hydrating ingredients to help keep skin soft and healthy. Chemicals are minimal so there’s no tingling when applied and no bronzing effect.

Hoping to step up your tan to the next level, perhaps for a special event such as a wedding? Bronzer lotions are your best friend. These include some fake colour and a subtle shimmer for sunlight sparkle. Choose between instant tan formulas and more gentle delayed-effect options.

Experienced in the world of tanning? Try tingle lotions for a deep tan that will go the distance. Formulated to bring blood to the surface of the skin to increase the effect of UV rays, these are not advisable for anyone unused to skin exposure and should always be used alongside SPF.

How to apply

Once you’ve covered your skin with a layer of sun cream and allowed this to sink in, you can apply your tanning lotion. Rub the lotion into your skin in smooth circular motions, spreading it over all areas evenly. This should be done at least 30 minutes before going outside/into the sunbed. Remember that the tanning accelerator should replace your usual moisturiser.

Going on holiday? Apply your tanning accelerator every day in the two weeks before departure for the best results.

Be aware that bronzing tanning accelerators can stain skin in the same way as fake tan. Wash your hands thoroughly after application and be wary of applying the product to your face.

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