Tanning Bed

Safer sunless tanning

Exposure to the sun can cause irreversible damage to our skin, yet we all want that gorgeous bronze skin that used to only come from hours outside in the sun. Now, you can get the same look of a natural suntan without the harmful side effects.

Some people continue to use tanning beds despite the numerous harmful effects. Tanning bed users have a higher chance of developing skin cancer than people who tan outside. Other harmful side effects of using tanning beds include damage to the cornea, suppression of the immune system and burns from the lights inside. Keep in mind that tanning beds also cause premature aging to the skin, and this can happen in a relatively short period of time. There are 18 year olds who have used tanning beds for years, and already have the skin of a 50 year old.

For those looking to maintain a healthy, golden skin tone without worrying about harmful side effects, consider the world of sunless tanning products. With sunless tanning products, the product is applied to the skin where it slowly works to change the color and tone. In the past, some of these products turned the skin an orange color, but recent advances in the field have created more natural results.

Sunless tanning products that contain DHA tend to work the best. DHA is a chemical that works with the amino acids on the top layer of skin to subtly change the skin tone. The process is completely safe, and a one-time application will usually last from 3 to 10 days, or longer depending on repeat applications. As some people might have an adverse reaction with chemicals in the product, it is important to test it first on a small patch of skin before applying all over the body.

Sunless tanning products come in a variety of types: gel, lotion, spray, wipe and mousse. The type of product used by each individual usually depends on their preference. A spray is easy for those hard to reach places like the backs of the legs, while a wipe may be better for someone with limited flexibility. More experienced users tend to choose a gel or lotion, which to sticks to the skin better. A mousse works well for new users because it is easy to see where the product is on the skin.

Another option that some like is a professional airbrush tan. These are available through salons, spas and specialty shops. A trained professional applies the product through a spray nozzle all over the body. The process can be a little expensive and the results usually last only as long as the at-home products do.

Depending on your personal taste, and the type of tan you are looking for, there are dozens of sunless tanning products to fit your needs - choose the one that's right for you and enjoy the bronze without the burn.

By Jennifer Eblin