Self Tanning: Tan your Skin Healthily and Avoid the Dangers of Sunbathing

While in many cultures having clear white skin is desirable many people like to have that shimmery look to their skin that comes from a glowing tan.  There are there are different ways to tan your skin, including sunbathing, indoor sun bed and self-tanning lotion. 

Sunbathe once in a while – Most people think to sunbathe once in a while do no harm to our skin. Unfortunately, what the sun does to our skin is irreversible, the tan may fade, but the damage from the suns UV (Ultra Violet) rays doesn’t. UV rays break down collagen and elastin (components of the skin that prevent it from sagging and looking wrinkly). Because UV damage is cumulative, the more you tan, the earlier you’ll start to wrinkle and increase your chances of getting skin cancer. In the last decade, cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, have increased 20 percent among women ages 15 to 34.

Base Tan and Sunburn – Again, many of us are confused as to wherther we can prevent sunburn or not if we start out a with base tan. Base tan may reduce the appearance of sunburn, but it is the UVA and UVB radiation exposure that damages the skin, regardless of whether the end result is red or brown skin. Also, a base tan (whether from a tanning bed or the sun doesn’t provide protection like sunscreen). Getting a tan and then lying out in the sun doubles your exposure—and increases our risk of skin cancer. A tan means you’ve damaged your skin. No tan is healthy, despite what society views as “healthy”.

The facts of Indoor Tanning – When tanning beds first became popular, scientists thought UVB rays (which cause skin to redden) were more dangerous than UVA rays. So manufacturers made beds that emitted fewer UVB rays and more UVA rays. Now scientists believe UVA rays may be more dangerous because they penetrate deeper, causing wrinkles and possibly cancer. So to get tanned from tanning bed is just same harmful as from the sun. Instead, try a spray tan. You’ll get a golden glow without the harmful effects of the sun.

How to choose the right Self-tanners – Try a gradual self-tanning lotion—which is a blend of moisturizer and self-tanner. When applied daily, it slowly builds up the color, giving your skin a natural-looking tan. Or pick a regular self-tanner that is white or clear when it comes out of the bottle—those usually contain lower levels of the tanning agent DHA so it won’t develop too darkly. It’s always smart to patch-test the back of your wrist before slathering self-tanner all over.

Tips to reduce your tanning lotions smell – DHA, the ingredient in most self-tanners that colors our skin. As it develops, it reacts with our skin and causes it to smell. Try applying self-tanner at night and showering the next morning—that should help reduce the odor a bit. Don’t exfoliate, however, because the tan will scrub away. Also try mixing lotion-based tanner with a quarter-sized blob of fragrance-free body lotion—it’ll dilute the tanner and make the scent less powerful.

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