Pros & Cons About Tanning Towels

by Kate Russell

Tanning towels are a relatively new product in the self-tanning market. Tanning towels contain self-tanner to create a bronze glow in about 2 to 4 hours. Tanning towels are popular because they are UV-free, but still deliver a tan similar to one you'd receive in the sun or a tanning bed. However, like all products, there are both pros and cons when it comes to using tanning towels.

Time

Tanning towels have the same time development for a tan as self-tanning lotion. You should expect color within 2 to 4 hours after application. Many people view this as a pro because a real tan takes much longer to develop. For instance; if you tan indoors at a salon, you need at least two to three visits before your skin develops a tan. However, a negative aspect of using a tanning towel is that you cannot expose your skin to water 2 to 4 hours after you apply the tanning towel. If the skin comes in contact with water, it can cause the tan to become blotchy.

Application

Tanning towels are very easy to apply. The tanning lotion is already saturated inside the towel, so there is no mess of squeezing the lotion from a bottle. Tanning towels also make clean up easy. Simply discard the towel when finished. A down side of using a tanning towel is that most people often need to use two or three. A standard tanning towel covers 1/3 of the body. Depending on your size, you may need to use more than three.

Price

Tanning towels can range anywhere from $20 to $200. Towels tend to be a bit more expensive than regular self-tanning lotion. A bottle of self-tanning lotion can be purchased for as little as $10. You may look at this price as a negative, but when you factor in the benefits of using a towel over lotion, it may be worth the extra money.

Length of Tan

The tan from tan towels lasts about a week. The darkest color appears in the first three days, then the tan gradually fades. The amount of time a tan lasts from a tan towel is the same as from a self-tanning lotion. The reason is only lasts a couple of days is because the skin naturally exfoliates and loses the top layer which contains your tan. Tans from the sun or a tanning bed last a little longer because the UV rays penetrate further.

Photo Credits

  • Ralf Nau/Lifesize/Getty Images