Wednesday, May 18, 2022

So You Want A Safe Tan?


So if we are told that we shouldn't tan directly under the sun, or resort to some sort of tanning bed or salon, how do we get a tan without increasing the chance of getting cancer sometime in the future.  If you've checked the market, one can find self tanning products also known as a sunless tan. 

Sunless tanners are considered so much safer than the tans gained through UV rays.  Most of these products rely on dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which combines with the amino acids in the skin to create the desired shade.  Dihydroxyacetone is actually a colorless sugar  that interacts with the dead cells of your skin and while it interacts it releases a distinct smell. 

Although there is no evidence that anything in the sunless tanner is bad for you, experts strongly recommend one cover the nose, eyes, and mouth when using it in spray form so none of the product is inhaled. Fortunately, you can find sunless tanning products as a lotion, wipes, and sprays to use to produce a great tan at home.  It is recommended one use self tanners at night.  

One of the most important things to do in preparation to use the products is to exfoliate your skin first. If you don't make sure you exfoliate dry areas such as elbows, knees, ankles, and wrists so they don't absorb to much product otherwise they look too brown or too orange. Once you've exfoliated your skin, let it fully dry for at least 15 minutes before moving on to the next step.

At this point, you apply the sunless tanning product evenly over your body.  When you are done, let it set at least 15 minutes before you get dressed but it is important to wash your hands once you finish the application or you'll end up with brown streaks all over your hands.  

One important thing to remember is to use sunscreen because the sunless tanning products do not protect your skin from UV rays. In addition, one should use hats, proper clothing, and a sun umbrella.  Furthermore, most sunless tanning products only last between five and seven days because as the dead cells fall off the body, the tan fades.

You might find something called a tanning pill being advertised as a way of causing your skin tan but there is evidence that it has some not so nice side effects and the FDA has not approved any of the pills to be used as marketed.  There have been a few studies to indicate that DHA may generate free radicals. Unfortunately, free radicals can cause your skin to age faster.  It can also interfere with the body's production of vitamin D and for some people, it will irritate their skin.

All in all, sunless tanners are still one of your best alternatives to getting a UV based tan so it is still safer to use than lying out in the sun or using a tanning booth.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.  

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