Tanning Towelettes: What They Are and How to Use Them

Jergens® Skincare Team:

Self Tanning

Tanning Towelettes: What They Are and How to Use Them

Discover the value of tanning towelettes with Jergens skincare.

Whether you’re seeking a subtle, sun-kissed glow or a deep, just-back-from-the-beach tan, sunless tanning products are a safe and healthy way to achieve your desired look. Tanning towelettes are a favorite among glow-seekers for their quick, simple application and lasting results.

What Are Tanning Towelettes?

There are lots of self-tanning options out there, from lotions to serums to sprays to, yes, towelettes. So, what are tanning towelettes, exactly, and how do they work?

The Basics
Tanning towelettes are a convenient, mess-free option for creating a beautiful, natural-looking sunless tan within a few hours. Each individually wrapped, disposable wipe is soaked in a solution containing dihydroxyacetone, or DHA.

Tanning towelettes are a convenient, mess-free option for creating a beautiful, natural-looking sunless tan within a few hours. Each individually wrapped, disposable wipe is soaked in a solution containing dihydroxyacetone, or DHA.

DHA is a naturally derived, FDA-approved substance that reacts with amino acids in your skin to produce a temporary browning effect.

One towelette typically contains enough of this formula to cover your entire body. Simply swipe the towelette evenly over your skin, allow the self-tanning formula to dry, and wait for a flawless glow to develop. Color usually starts to appear within 2-4 hours, with maximum color visible after about 24 hours.

What Benefits Do Tanning Towelettes Provide?

Tanning towelettes are a quick, easy way to get a flawless sunless tan. These are just a few of the benefits that are unique to this method of sunless tanning:

  • Perfect for travel: Tanning towelettes are ideal for achieving a glow on-the-go. The compact, individually wrapped towelettes can be easily packed in your suitcase, carry-on luggage, or purse with no danger of leaks or spills.
  • Quick to apply: Tanning towels swipe quickly and evenly over your skin, allowing you to apply a streak-free tan in a matter of minutes.
  • Cost-effective: One towelette is often enough to cover your whole body, making tanning towelettes cheaper than a spray tan appointment or other sunless tanning options.
  • Low mess: Tanning towelettes offer a mess-free application and easy cleanup — simply dispose of the towel and wrapper once you’re done.
  • Rapid color development: Most tanning towels produce visible color within hours, with the most noticeable changes around 4-8 hours and peak color around 24 hours after application.
  • Safe for your skin: Tanning towelettes allow you to get your dream color without exposing your skin to the sun’s harmful rays. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin or health concerns related to sunlight, such as a family history of melanoma.
Plus, tanning towelettes can come in breathtaking scents like mango and pineapple or passion fruit and coconut so that you can get in the summer mood right from the start.

How Do They Compare to Other Self Tanning Methods?

Tanning towelettes are an extremely effective method of applying and achieving an even, natural-looking sunless tan. Depending on your skin type, activity level, and other factors, you can expect your sunless tan to last anywhere from a few days up to 10 days or longer. This is about the same color duration as other self-tanning methods, but with a much faster application time.

In addition to a quicker application process, most tanning towelettes do not stain clothing and, once dry, won’t transfer to sheets, clothing, towels, or furniture. Many tanning towelettes also contain moisturizing ingredients and have a light, refreshing fragrance.

How To Use Tanning Towelettes

Using the correct application technique is key to attaining a beautiful, authentic-looking tan with no streaks or spots. This section covers how to use tanning towelettes correctly for perfect results every time.
1. Prior to Application
For the most even, flawless results, wash and exfoliate your skin before application. Be sure to remove all traces of sweat, grime, or other substances, as these could cause imperfections in your tanning application.

2. At Least Several Hours Before
Next, apply a moisturizer to your entire body. Drier skin tends to absorb more tanning formula, so avoid dark spots by adding extra moisture to areas that tend to be dry, such as feet, elbows, knees, and ankles. Allow your moisturizer to absorb completely before proceeding.

3. Apply Tanning Towelette
Start by unfolding the tanning towel completely to get maximum coverage during application. Apply the towel to your clean, dry skin using large, circular strokes. Cover your entire body, being mindful of areas you’ve already covered.

4. After Application
When you’ve finished your application, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, paying extra attention to the areas between your fingers to avoid coloration of your palms or hands.

5. Wait For Tanner To Dry
Before getting dressed, wait a few minutes for the tanning formula to dry completely so that your clothes don’t smear the tanner and create uneven color results. The time it takes to wash your hands is often enough.

Additional Tips and Tricks

In addition to these steps, try the following expert-level tanning tips:

  • Wearing gloves during application can reduce the amount of tanning formula that ends up on your hands.
  • Ask a friend to help you do your back to ensure an even application.
  • Use a circular motion during application to avoid streaking.
  • Apply the tanning towelette starting at the bottom of your legs and moving upward. Otherwise, you risk smearing the tanning formula on your torso when you bend down to do your legs.

Recommended Tanning Towelettes and Alternatives

Your self-tanning results depend on the quality of the sunless tanning product you choose, which is why you want to find the perfect tanning towelettes for your skin. Look for dye-free, mess-free, and streak-free towelettes so that you can look your best with ease.

Other Self Tanning Alternatives

In addition to tanning towels, there are a variety of sunless tanning products that can give you gorgeous, glowing skin.

  1. A daily moisturizer that doubles as a gradual sunless tanning lotion allows you to take control of your color level while keeping your skin perfectly hydrated. A tanning lotion can create a subtle glow that, when used daily, builds to a noticeable tan in about a week.

  2. Try a serum for a concentrated self-tanning formula that works with your favorite skincare products for a customizable sunless tan. Add a few drops to your preferred moisturizer for a soft glow, or add a few more drops for a deep, dark tan.

  3. Tanning mousse is a self-tanning option that adds color in the form of a light, airy water mousse. With immediate color that lasts for days, tanning water mousse takes tanning water to a whole new level.

  4. Don’t forget to use an applicator mitt when you apply mousse or lotion-type sunless tanners. The mitt protects your hands from staining while blending your color seamlessly for streak-free results.

Key Takeaways

  • Tanning towelettes are a convenient, easy-to-use, and travel-friendly option for achieving a safe, healthy sun-kissed glow.

  • Using proper preparation and application methods can lead to a more beautiful tan that lasts even longer.

  • Choosing high-quality tanning towelettes is the key to achieving the best results.

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