You’re psyched because spring break is around the corner, or you have an awesome vacation coming up, and you want to score the ultimate bronze glow.
But what is the best and safest way to tan your skin?
While tanning beds, spray tans, tanning lotions, and sunbathing are all popular options, they can mean very different things for your health in the long run...
But most of us don’t focus on those details when we are in the moment and all we want is fabulously tanned skin!
However, the method that you choose in order to get that tanned skin could actually be harming your health. Of all the methods above, the only one that may actually be safe is using a sunless tanning lotion. Let’s dig into why this might be true…
Let’s begin with getting a tan directly from the sun itself, instead of from an artificial source. Whereas you may think it’s harmless to sunbathe (especially if you’re wearing an SPF), that’s actually not true.
That’s because your tan skin equates to damaged skin cells, and over time this damage can result in wrinkles, premature aging, age spots, and even skin cancer.
Getting a sunburn equates to having severe cell damage, and research shows that getting just ONE blistering sunburn can double your chances of developing melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) later in life (EEK).
So what about tanning beds? These devices produce the same UVB and UVA rays that the sun does – leading to the same potentially damaging consequences.
One startling statistic states that those who start using tanning beds before they are 30 increase their risk of developing melanoma later in life by 75 percent!
Next in line, sunless tanning sprays (spray-on tans). These products use dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a chemical that has been approved by the FDA for external use only.
The problem is that when using a sunless tanning spray, inhalation of DHA is very likely. For anyone getting a spray-on tan, it is recommended to plug your nose, shut your mouth, and close your eyes to avoid inhaling the chemical, which could be very harmful to your health.
Finally, we come to sunless tanning lotions. Although these products also use DHA, the ingredient only touches and effects the top layer of your skin, and does not penetrate through your other skin layers or enter your blood stream.
For this reason, it is considered by some to be the safest form of tanning of all the options mentioned above.
When seeking a great tanning lotion, choose one with nourishing ingredients that leave your skin silky smooth, as well as other beneficial ingredients such as caffeine to help fight cellulite.
And remember that when you’re looking for that “healthy tan glow”, you don’t have to look further than your bathroom for the safest option!
Also remember to always wear a good high SPF when out in the sun, since sunless tanning lotions do not contain SPF. Now sit back, give yourself a safe sunless tan, and enjoy your trip!