So you’ve got to get tan, right? Never in history has a suntan been more popular or had more impact on attractiveness. Some people have taken this tanning thing to a new extreme. Personally, I think that the popularity of having very dark tans is too extreme.
If you want to tan you can do it without your skin becoming a shriveled up piece of jerkey. Everyone looks better with a little color, it is proven. Also everyone knows what causes skin cancer; sun exposure. One severe sunburn can increase your risk of developing a cancerous melanoma by 50%, especially if you are young. If you must have that bronze look there are many ways that you can minimize the effects of ultraviolet damage to your skin. This damage includes faster aging, skin cancer and melanoma, and severe blisters and infection from sunburn.
Tanning occurs when the skin absorbs UV rays and gets damaged. Therefore, there is no real way to “safely tan” as a sun tan is the body’s response to the skin being damaged. This damage tells your body to protect itself by creating melanin which in turn darkens your skin thus raising your tolerance to the sun’s rays. A myth that is rampant about sun tanning is that a sunburn will turn into a suntan after it has faded. This is very incorrect, as many bad sunburns will peel and flake until you are the same color as you started out as, pale.
The 3 Ways to Tan:
Salon Tanning vs. Natural Tanning vs. Fake Tanning
Of these 3 choices, the one that is by far the best is fake tanning. In recent years, spray-on and fake tanning products have become very popular. They are quick and can create a very real looking tan the first time that you receive the treatment. The health benefits are easy to see, this form of tanning requires zero sun exposure therefore eliminating all of the adverse effects of tanning. This form of tanning can last very long with topical products designed to keep your tan glowing year round. It is also very fast as a treatment lasts less than 30 minutes and in most cases they can be cheaper than tanning at a salon.
Which one is better you ask, Sunbathing outside or going to a tanning salon?
Salon Tanning and Natural Tanning are very close. The Salon will have just about the same degree of UVA and UVB rays as the sun, it is just more intense. People use the Salon to save time and to get a nice, even tan. This can be hazardous for a few reasons. Generally people that tan in a salon environment get addicted to the process and usually get exposed to more UV rays than they should. According to the BPG which is the British Association of Dermatologists, one should not surpass 10 sets of 30-minute sessions semi-annually. 10 hours per year is used by many people in a few months of tanning regularly in a tanning salon. This does not mean that tanning outside is safer than a tanning bed, only that a person is more likely to take in more dangerous UV rays if they regularly tan in a tanning salon.
If you are planning on tanning outside or in a tanning salon, take baby steps, especially if you have a pale complexion. Also make sure that you have some type of sunscreen on, not a sun block if you are actively trying to tan. Sunscreens should not impede your tanning progress excessively but should help you from not getting a sunburn. A sunscreen with aloe should protect you from the damaging effects of UV rays while still allowing your body to produce melanin. Slowly you can build up your time being exposed to the sun without risking your skin’s long term health. Also, if you are beginning a tanning regimen, try to do it when the sun’s potency is low, say before 11am and after 3:30 pm.
Always wear sunglasses while tanning, in bed or sun.
This is very important to maintain long term eye health. Sun exposure to the eyes has been known to cause many health defects, such as cataracts.
In review, a fake topical, pill, or spray on tan is the safest way to looking like you baked on the beach all summer.