Getting a great suntan requires more than just lying on the beach, baking for hours; or visiting a tanning salon and coming out “just right”. A great suntan also involves preparing and protecting your skin and following some basic skin care recommendations to help that tan glow. In the professional tanning industry, the basic four includes four types of products that have different purposes. They may have different names, but basically they include maximizer lotions, two types of bronzers, and moisturizers.

Maximizers – No matter what type of tan you’re trying to get or how seasoned you are at tanning, a maximizer will help get your skin ready with extra hydrating conditioners. These work well when trying to establish a base tan, or move your current tan up a notch.

Natural bronzers – These are usually made from bronzing ingredients found in nature, and provide fast color to the skin in a short amount of time. In nature, various types of nuts help change the color of something, and the same is true with natural bronzers.

DHA Bronzers – This second type of bronzer is typically used by tanners who want to move off an established color plateau or achieve a little darker color. The DHA sugars react with skin proteins to produce a tan color on the upper level of skin.

Moisturizers – Are often called tan extenders, because keeping your skin well-moisturized can help prolong the length of your tan. Look for moisturizers specifically for tanning, because these are made to keep skin pores open while adding extra nutrients and minerals that you may be lacking due to the exposure.

And remember that if you are new to tanning, seek the guidance of a tanning professional to help analyze your progress. Starting out too fast can have the wrong effect for your skin. Slow and steady is best, and a tanning specialist can help you determine the right suntan products to use for your own skin type.