How to Choose The Best Tan Accelerator

February 28, 2014

With so many tan accelerators on the market it can be difficult to know which one is best to use and why. There are just so many questions to ask. A good tan accelerator should be able to help keep your skin healthy and in good condition whilst helping to develop that beautifully golden tan.  So in order to help you out, we’re going to ask those questions and give you the answers to what the best tan accelerators should do and what makes Carrot Sun one of the favourites across the world.

What is a tan accelerator and what does it do?

Tan accelerators help speed up the skin’s tanning process. In order to work they require either natural sunlight or UV lighting from sun beds.  Tan accelerators contain ingredients which stimulate skin cells to produce melanin- the pigment that makes your skin go brown. They can come in several different forms, from creams to pills. This brings us to the next question…


Is it safe to use a tan accelerator?

The most important question of all! The answer to this is: it depends on what type of tan accelerator you are using, where/how you are using it, and what the ingredients are. Tanning safely is important in order not to damage your skin and in order to get a tan that looks beautiful and healthy.

There is some controversy surrounding certain types of tan accelerators such as tanning injections or pills, so always do your research beforehand. It’s always a good idea to check whether it has been tested and whether it is approved for use in your country.

To be safe when using a cream or oil tan accelerator in the sun, you should find out if you can use it with an SPF cream or not. SPF can be used with and applied underneath all Carrot Sun products.

You also need to find out whether you have any allergies to anything in the product you are choosing. For example, if you have nut allergies and the tan accelerator you would like to use contains nut oils, then it may not be safe for your use. Always check the labels and if in doubt, consult your dermatologist or GP.  


What are the active ingredients in your tan accelerator? Are they natural, full of nasty chemicals, or simply an overpriced moisturiser?

Are they actually helping you tan, are they just giving you a fake tan, or are they simply moisturisers in disguise? Many tan accelerators out there claim to be accelerators, but they only do this on the basis that moisturised skin tans better, and so they are simply moisturisers and nothing else. They are a waste of money, and you may as well buy any normal moisturiser off the shelf.

Good tan accelerators contain ingredients that nourish & protect your skin from UV rays, such as antioxidants & vitamins, as well as ingredients that your skin needs in order to produce more melanin, such as L-tyrosine (a major building block of melanin), and essential fatty acids which are crucial for healthy skin and skin repair. These sorts of ingredients can be found in products that are high in natural oils and fruit/veg/nut extracts, such as Carrot Sun. These are important things to look out for in a good tan accelerator if you really want something that works and that will do your skin a favour.


Is it suitable for your skin type?

All people react and tan differently to products according to their skin type. Some people are fair, some have olive skin, some tan easily, some do not, some have sensitive skin, and others have allergies. It’s beneficial to find something that suits your skin type and also suits the level of tan you want to achieve. Carrot Sun have something to suit all skin types and even recommend which one you should use based on your skin type and how dark you want to go. If you’re unsure, you can even email your skin details and Carrot Sun will reply with a helpful recommendation.


Any skin benefits?

The best tan accelerators will often combine the tan developing ingredients with ingredients that help your skin in different ways. Here are just a couple of examples of what may be in the accelerators:

Carrot oil:  contains carotene antioxidants, vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids, which have moisturising and cell-regenerative properties, and is also a natural tan accelerator which will boost your tan naturally.

Coconut oil: contains a range of antioxidants, provides thorough moisturisation for skin, and works brilliantly to soothe sensitive skin.

Aloe Vera: Soothes and moisturise the skin leaving it revitalised. It has been known to work really well with dry/burned skin.

Almond oil: contains E & B vitamins, and essential fatty acids, all of which are things that are supremely nourishing to skin. It also is a natural source of L-tyrosine!

Wheat germ oil: contains high levels of antioxidants, which combat free radicals and have anti-ageing properties.

Peach: With vitamin A and C, peaches are known to work as a brilliant moisturiser as well as being beautifully fragrant.

Cocoa butter: provides supreme skin moisturisation.

Henna: (used as a natural bronzer exclusively in Carrot Sun products)has been known for its use in hot climates to help cool people down from the sun, and to improve skin condition.


Does it smell nice?

Many tan accelerators out there smell a bit…well...unpleasant, namely  those that contain bronzers. And after you’ve been on a tanning bed or out in the sun the last thing you need is a smelly tan accelerator to further exacerbate the odour situation. The best tan accelerators on the market will spare no cost and won’t leave you smelling funky. Have a whiff of that tan accelerator before you buy it, and if you’re buying online check out the reviews to see what others have said about the product. From the reviews on the net, Carrot Sun definitely seem to have some of the best scented tan accelerators on the market!


Tingle Cream Tan Accelerators

What are Tingle creams and how do they work?

These are lotions that create a tingling sensation which starts once you have applied the lotion onto your body.  It works by creating an effect that gently pinches the skin using the ingredients methyl Nicotinate or Benzyl. These ingredients work by increasing the blood circulation in the body and bringing more oxygen to the surface. The cream will leave you looking slightly red after your tanning session but it should calm down within the hour. They’re for use on UV sunbeds and are believed to help the development of a dark tanned colour.

Do Tingle creams hurt?

Some people enjoy the sensation a tingle lotion gives them, others say it hurts and others still have experienced panic attacks from it. What’s important though is to be careful using it, if you have sensitive skin this is probably not the product for you. You should also make sure never to apply it to any sensitive parts of the body and make sure it is kept away from children. Maybe a patch test prior to full-body application to avoid any unpleasant experiences is a good idea!

What about pills and drinks?

There are a lot of different opinions on these, but from our research we’ve found that creams and sprays are definitely the best tan accelerators, and the most trustworthy, as everything you need to tan is going directly onto the place that needs it the most: your skin!  Always look at the ingredients and be sure to know what you’re putting in your body. Some people do rave about the pills and drinks saying they’ve had a tan like never before. Others do not.  Here’s a bit about what may be in the pills or drinks:

Many tanning pills or drinks contain an ingredient called Canthaxanthin, a natural carotene-based colour additive that is added to many foods to give them an orange hue.

Tanning pills and drinks still require you to be in the sun or UV lighting in order for them to work. You should be careful and check the ingredients though, as it may be the case that all you’re buying is simply a multivitamin or supplement, in which case you are wasting your money and you may as well buy a carton of carrot & orange juice and eat a steak to give your body the same supplements naturally (and it would taste better too!).

You should also be careful about how much Canthaxanthin you put into your body, as too much can have harmful side effects. Furthermore, if you find you don’t like the colour it has changed your skin to, it can take 2 weeks for your skin to turn back to its normal shade after you’ve stopped using it. this website to learn more about the processes and the possible risks involved in using them if taken too often.

Tan accelerators with bronzer:

What is bronzer?  

Bronzers can be natural ingredients, such as henna (in Carrot Sun), or dihydroxyacetone (DHA), an amino acid which comes from sugar cane that can either be naturally derived or synthetically produced. Both of these help to darken the skin.

Bronzers in tan accelerators help to give your tan a bit of a boost, so that you see results faster. They are not like fake tan, however, and you won’t see results without using a sunbed or going in the sun.


Tanning Injections

Tan injections, once in your body, create more melanin, thus creating that tanned effect.  However we do not recommend the use of tanning jabs. With many reports stating the dangers and side effects we question whether or not there is a need for such a thing when there are all these other products available which can create tans that are just as good and are a lot safer! In the UK these products have not had extended testing therefore it is unknown what exactly are in tanning injections and what you could be putting into your body. They may create a colour that is even throughout the body but they are known to induce headaches, dizziness and there is concern over sharing needles. They also still require some sun so you may as well just use a tan accelerator rather than regular, possibly unsafe, injections.

These are unlicensed here in the UK, articles such as explain more about why they are unsafe and what to do if you’ve used a tanning injection and are concerned.

Whatever you decide, finding a tan accelerator that has all the right ingredients for your skin type, that keeps your skin healthy, and that gives you a beautiful colour is important, and worth the time it takes to research it.  Make sure you find a product that can do everything you want it to do, to suit your needs, and that you know is safe.

To browse our Carrot Sun range follow this link

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