Talking No-Sun Tanner With Dr. Nicholas Perricone
It’s been a good year for sunless tanners. The long, dark East Coast winter caused a spike in demand for the bronzing products, and the industry has responded with a host of new and improved formulas, from organic versions (Josie Maran) and heated mists (Evolv) to DIY airbrush sprays (SheerTan). The latest advancement in safe sunning is a skin-firming formula, courtesy of legendary dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone. Enhanced with antiaging technology, Perricone’s No Sun Tanner seems poised to best all the rest, with its proprietary blend of vitamin D, alpha lipoic acid, and high-tech molecules that work to bring out the body’s natural tan in a subtle, gradual way, while also tightening and moisturizing the skin (side note: unlike its stinky competitors, it smells fantastic, thanks to subtle whiffs of cocoa butter). To find out just how the good doctor managed to create such a breakthrough bronzer, we asked him to talk us through the new product and offer up some pro application pointers so our still pasty complexion (and yours) can get a healthy glow on.
After years of promoting omega-threes and super fruits, what inspired you to delve into sunless tanners—why now?
For years, my patients have been telling me that they longed to achieve sun-kissed color without baking in the sun. But I wanted to create a self-tanner that would deliver a gradual, natural-looking effect while also firming and nourishing the skin.
Simple enough! Walk us through the ingredients—what’s in here that will keep skin young?
One of the most important ingredients is DMAE (dimethylaminoethenol), a naturally occurring substance with significant anti-inflammatory, antiaging properties. Numerous studies have shown that its topical application improves elasticity and luminosity, helping to decrease lines and wrinkles while brightening the skin and evening out imperfections. In fact, many scientists and researchers in the field of dermatology are studying this remarkable nutrient, and their findings validate what I have known for decades: that DMAE can delay or reverse the appearance of aging skin.
Into it. You also added nutrients that we normally don’t find in self-tanners, like vitamin D. Why?
Yes, this contains pro-vitamin D which is a precursor to the kind needed for vitamin D synthesis. As we know, vitamin D is critical to overall health. It also has alpha lipoic acid, which is one of the most powerful antiaging antioxidants available to improve skin’s resiliency.
We’ve come a long way since orange, streaky self-tanners, but how does this lotion impart such a believable glow?
I combined DHA [the active compound in self-tanners] with a natural sugar derivative to promote a more even and long-lasting tint. This combination actually gives skin its natural color. Another unique characteristic that you noted is that the lotion doesn’t have that chemical smell. Instead, it’s formulated with a proprietary neutralizing agent that recognizes bad odors and activates when the odor comes through upon application.
What’s your expert advice for how to apply it?
Well, you should exfoliate first to get rid of dry skin. Then apply the lotion all over your body once a day for seven to 14 days until you’ve achieved the desired color. You can also apply it on the face for a warm, healthy-looking glow. Just be sure to rinse your hands thoroughly after each application.
Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Nicholas Perricone