Sun tan lotion is a term that can be used to describe indoor tanning lotion or sunscreen. These two products serve different purposes. Tanning lotions improve the tanning process. Sunscreen, or sunblock, is a product used to protect the skin from the ultraviolet radiation given off by the sun.
Indoor tanning lotions work by increasing blood flow to the skin or by promoting melanin production. Both of these result in an increased amount of melanin on the top skin layers. These products do not contain sunscreen and should not be mistaken for a skin protectant. To achieve desired results, this should be used in conjunction with a tanning bed or booth that gives of an ultraviolet source.
Common active ingredients include L-Tyrosine and melanin. Other ingredients may include copper, green tea extract, tea oil and other oils. They may include bronzing or moisturizing elements. These indoor products are not intended for outdoor use because they do not offer sun protection.
A product designed for outdoor use is called sunscreen. This product may come in a cream, gel, spray or other topical form. It is used to reflect or absorb some of the ultraviolet radiation that is given off by the sun. It is also helpful in preventing sunburn.
In general, sunscreens contain at least one of these ingredients: organic particulates, inorganic particulates, organic chemical compounds. There are two primary classifications for these products: physical, which reflect sunlight, or chemical, which absorb ultraviolet light. The use of sunscreen is recommended because it is believed to prevent sunburn, cancer and other harmful effects caused by UV radiation.
The term sun tan lotion may refer to sunblock or indoor tanning products. Though they serve opposite purposes, they are both topical products applied to skin. Sunblock has protective features, while tanning creams are used for improving tanning results, bronzing and moisturizing.
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