Tan the Safe Way

We’ve all heard about the dangers of the sun and its ultraviolet rays, yet many people still long for that beautiful tan that looks so healthy and becoming. In actuality a tan is representative of damaged skin cells. The cells, after being damaged by UV rays, turn from white or pinkish to brown. The more we subject our skin to this treatment the higher our risks of skin cancer. On top of that sunbathing adds age to your face, increases wrinkles and takes away the suppleness of the skin.

The knowledge that tanning outdoors is harmful to us has sent many men and women off to the tanning salons in search of a safer tanning method. Using tanning booths or beds, though, can be every bit as endangering as real sunlight. Although over a million people target tanning beds each year the UV rays from beds and sun lamps are every bit as strong as the sun’s own UV rays.

The FDA says tanners should also say no to tanning pills stating they are linked to health issues like yellowing of the retina, liver problems, uncontrollable itching, and more. The pills also have a nasty reputation for turning people any number of colors including yellow and orange.

The safest way to get a healthy-looking tan without the health risks is to spray on your tan. Whether you do it yourself or go to a salon aerosol spray tans are the safest way to darken your skin. The spray tans contain DHA, approved by the FDA for safe tanning. They work like spray paint – you spray it directly onto the skin and watch it change color. The tanning method is available not only in the spray form but also in lotions and creams.

Although the sprays and lotions are much safer there are a few things to note about using them. First of all they will make elbows, knees, ankles and hands much darker than the other parts of your body. Apply sparingly to those parts of the body. In addition, using lotions or creams can turn the palms of your hands a horrible color. Wash hands with soap and warm water frequently during application.

When tanning the face do not spray directly in the face. Instead, use foam wedges (usually provided in the tanning kit) to color facial skin. Spray some of the spray onto the wedge then use sparingly on face, neck and around ears.

Using the sprays are difficult if doing the tan yourself. It’s hard to reach the back and backs of legs yourself. The best way is to have someone else spray on the tan while you wear a bikini or towel. Be aware that whatever surface the spray touches – especially clothing – will be stained brown. For this reason stand away from carpets, walls, and furniture.

The tan will last approximately three weeks but can be touched up. Be sure and choose a shade slightly lighter than your own since these sprays really darken. One of the major complaints with this spray is that it can make skin appear way too dark for the person’s complexion. If you’re considered medium complected choose a light complexion spray. If you see it isn’t quite dark enough for you try a slightly darker shade next time. Happy tanning!

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