Are Self-Tanning Concentrate Serums -- An Alternative To Regular Self-Tanners

I like using self-tanner all year round. It's a bit like makeup for the body, it smoothens things out a bit. Plus it makes my winter skin look like it's summer outside, which just puts me in a good mood. Also I'm actually more responsible about not overexposing my skin to the sun if I already got my tan from a tube.

This spring I switched from a self-tanning cream to a concentrate. I had a slight mishap in the beginning and looked like a certain ex-presiden of the US for a few days. But now I really love it.
You mix a couple of drops into your regular skin care, apply it on your skin, and wait till the next day for the colour to develop.

The advantages of a self-tanning concentrate:

* You can control the intensity of the tanning. You can gradually layer for the streak-free effect. Just add the smallest amount to your skin care product each day for a few days. If you want to get a more intensive colour, fast, you can use more product.
* It's a tiny amount of a serum, so it won't clog your pores.
* The self-tanner smell gets masked by the scent of the product you mix it with. It's not completely gone, but it's much less.
* It takes up less space in your bathroom or travel bag.
* You don't have to choose between skincare and self-tanning. I can add the self-tanner concentrate to a very rich body moisturiser when my skin is dry, or to a vit C serum on my face.

Which self-tanning serum do I use?

I use the ones from Lavozon (Rossmann) and SunOzone (Müller). The issue with DHA-based tanners (the kind that gradually develop over time and doesn't rub off on clothes) is than in a badly formulated product the DHA is unstable and gives off formaldehyde. In the ÖkoTest lab tests, the self-tanners from Lavozon and SunOzone were almost the only ones that didn't start giving off formaldehyde over time. Most of the other tested products (organic brands as well as conventional) failed the test. Ökotest did test only the cream self-tanner version though, so I'm hoping and taking the risk that their concentrate formulation is not too different. Another thing I'm doing is storing the concentrate in the fridge, as it is heat that destabilises DHA.
The caveat is the packaging of the Lavozon and SunOzone products (I'm pretty sure these brands come from the exact same factory, as they have the same ingredient list and even the packaging is the same). The packaging tells you to use just a few drops, but the consistency and the pump are such that you have to press gently to get drops. The first time I used the product I pressed hard and got a squirt, and I assumed it was the drop they were talking about. Well, that's how I ended overdoing it on the self-tan.
 Photo credit: VenusianGlow

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