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How to avoid the sun, tanning bed and harmful UV rays? Self-tanners to the rescue

Akardash With all the concern about skin cancer and other sun-related skin damage, there seems to have been an explosion of self-tanners on store shelves promising a bronze summer glow without exposure to harmful UV rays. Celebrities, like Lindsay Lohan and the Kardashian clan, not only sport their own summer glows, but market their own name-brand products too.

Self-tanners are topical treatments -- think cream, mist or all-out goop -- that can change skin color temporarily. Even though the concept has been around since the 1960’s, it still sounds almost too good to be true.

Well, to be fair, the formulas from the '60s had notoriously orange-y results, bringing the “fake and bake” stigma to self-tanners. But products have advanced considerably since then, with towelettes, lotions and sprays available now that can give skin a pretty, just-got-back-from-vacation glow.

In the Image section, we take a closer look at how these products work and even test drive a few to see what is effective and what’s better left on store shelves.

Whether you’re already an avid self-tanner or just thinking about trying one of these products, check us out to read all about the ingredients, possible allergies and potentially positive results of various tanners.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photo: Members of the Kardashian clan, which markets a self-tanner among many, many, many other products and endeavors.  From left, matriarch Kris, Kylie (Jenner), Kim, Kendall (Jenner), Kourtney, with baby Mason, and Khloe.  Credit: Toby Canham/Getty

RELATED:

2011 Sunscreen Guide names most safe and effective sunscreens

SPF inflation in the sunscreen aisle

The Kardashians: Cashing in with a capital K

For summer: Less makeup, lots of color

 
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