It’s summer again, and it’s pretty understandable if you’d like to rock your inner sun goddess by getting a little shade for the season. But, how? Tanning sessions can be quite expensive and there are a lot of things you hear about home tanning that makes you want to say ‘Nuh-uh’.
Well, it’s high time you get educated about tanning, home tanning, and how you can get a tan in the safest, cheapest way possible. But, first, we need to talk about why home tanning was tagged hazardous.
Why do we tan? It’s actually the body’s response to the injury caused by the UV rays. If you tan, it means the very layer on your skin that protects you from the UV rays is damaged. This also means that people who have base tanning are actually more vulnerable to sunburn and permanent skin damage.
Compensating on your vitamin D ingestion won’t be enough. Besides, the best was to get enough vitamin D is not by exposing yourself to sunlight, but through what you eat. What sunlight actually does is activating the substance that is already in your body to generate vitamin D.
Dangers of Indoor Tanning
Do you remember a time when tanning was such a sensation, celebrities were all getting tanned and people were clamouring about it as well? Then, they made tanning beds, and that’s when it all went haywire.
Before spray tans became available, the only way to get a good tan, aside from getting it expensively from salons, was through tanning beds, booths, and sunlamps. This is what they called Indoor Tanning. It was all good at first, and a lot of people were getting tanning beds for themselves.
Then, it was found out that this method of tanning can cause skin damage, including melanoma; the worst kind of skin cancer. Some cases also included basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The dangers of indoor tanning aren’t just limited to skin diseases.
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can trigger cataracts and ocular melanoma too. The severity of the damage is even higher for people who begin indoor tanning at a young age. For people who try to do indoor tanning in a rather moderate way, the risk of endangering the skin may not be as bad as those who do it often, but they are still prone to permanent damages caused by it, such as:
- Premature skin aging, which may include early signs of wrinkles and age spots
- Changes in skin texture
- Risks of potentially blinding eye diseases, especially if eye protection is not used upon doing the tanning procedure
How to Get a Tan Without Damaging Your Skin?
Now that the harmful effects of tanning beds and sunlamps have been discussed, what other options do you have in getting that bronze glow that you so desire?
Well, that’s where sunless tanning creams and spray tan products come into play. With the kind of technology that’s available for modern cosmetics, there are products that are created to mimic the effects of a real tan.
However, certain safety procedures must be observed to create the best results in a safe manner. The active ingredient that is present in all tanning products is DHA or Dihydroxyacetone. This is the main component that creates the tanning effect. It is safe for the skin, however, it can be harmful when ingested. Also, it must not be applied to areas that are covered by a mucous membrane, such as the eyes, lips, and genitals.
Self-tanning products are confirmed to be the safest alternative to sun tanning and they don’t easily wash off. However, people who do self-tanning must be educated that this isn’t any form of protection for the skin against the UV rays. Sun screening products must still be applied when you decide to go out in the sun.
Home tanning products are available in department stores and may vary depending on the brand, but it should be within the $10-$35 range. It is way cheaper than the $25 per session rate of tanning salons and the effect lasts for 5-7 days. If you decide to do home tanning, be sure that you have someone with you to help apply the products on areas that you can’t reach, or you can also think of creative ways to apply it yourself.