Yellow eyebrows, stained pillows, streaky legs – life’s answer to our question “how to save summer tan through autumn?” But don’t fret. It’s not all bad.
To be honest with you: I stopped using self-tanners or lotions with self-tan a little while ago. I’m naturally pale, and at some point I just saw no sense in masking that. To compair is to despair, right? So I got at peace with my fair, olive skin tone. I even enjoy being a bit green in winter. Gives me an extraterrestrial touch!
Apart from this, the reasons I don’t use self-tan anymore are:
Another reason I stopped using selftan products are those crappy toxic ingredients I kept finding in them.
Last night I’ve checked random conventional selftan products simply typing “selftan” (rather “Selbstbräuner”) in the Codecheck.info search.
I have found these ingredients that are to avoid:
BHT – toxic for humans and environment
Benzophenone (UV filter) – cancerogenic
Butylene Glycol – irritant
Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane – immunotoxic
Butylphenyl Methylpropional (synthetic scent sompound) – a toxic powerful allergen, suspected endocrine disruptor
Caramel (colouring) – industrially produced, potentially allegenic (as it can be sourced from wheat, milk, barley)
C13-14 Isoparaffin – inert pesticide ingredient, petrochemical
CI 19140/ Tartrazin – sythetic cololuring (added simply to give you the sensation of “I’m already getting tanned”), allergenic
Cyclopentasiloxane a.k.a. Cyclomethicone – toxic, bioaccumulative, tumor growth and endocrine disruption shows in animal studies, enviromentally toxic
Dimethicone – toxic, bioaccumulative
Disodium EDTA – highly toxic and cytotoxic in animal studies
Ethoxydiglycol – causes drying of skin, irritant to eyes
Laureth-4 – highly irritant, can be contaminated with highly toxic 1,4-Dioxane
Parabens – endocrine disruptors
Paraffinum Liquidum – toxic, especially in aerosols
PEG-60, PEG-100 – toxic, can be contaminated with 1,4-Dioxane
Propylene Glycol – toxic, allergenic, irritant, penetration enhancer
…DEFINITELY NOT SEXY!
On a related note: Check out this helpful pocket guide to avoiding endocrine disruptors.
If you still think you need a self-tanning product, these are by far the cleanest options I was able to find (summer 2013):
Lavera Self Tanner Sun Sensitive – it’s clean but sadly contains several palm-oil derived ingredients
Eco Cosmetics Bronze – clean and simple, contains several palm-oil derived ingredients, too
Santé Soleil Sensitive – clean and palm-oil free, but not suitable for vegans (wax used)
Alverde Schimmer-Öl – a shimmer oil with DHA, contains palm-oil based ingredients
Case in point?
If you find a way to make self-tanning products completely toxin- and cruelty-free, you’re gonna rake in the cash!”
FAKE IT, BABY!
Now of course I do have a plan B for the days I look especially pale and everybody else is rocking a healthy glow!
For the face, my fave product is Alva’s Baked Bronzing Powder 1 Beige-Rose. It’s rad. Absolutely fresh and pretty neutral, even though the product itself looks a bit like a terracotta stone:
For the body, I used to buy your classical shimmery oils until I figured they were mostly paraffin-based, and the latest clean haul was practically made of palm oil derived ingredients that weren’t even marked as organic – duh!
My next option was Melvita’s carrot oil which isn’t too shabby, but it (A) needs to be applied with a very light hand (or you turn genuinely carrot-coloured) plus (B) it’s based on unexpensive sunflower oil (and it smells). It doesn’t contain any shimmer.
And once I started adding mineral pigment to this carrot oil to play with the colour and add shimmer, I ended up completely DIY’ing my shimmer bronzer oils from clean, virgin or organic food-grade oils and cocoa butter!