There's something appealing about the warm glow of deeply tanned skin that attracts us. While we don't disapprove of pale skin, we often refer to bronzed skin as healthy and beautiful skin. We even like the sun freckles that often accompany a deep tan. The truth is, in this day and age, suntanning is anything but healthy. |
Don't get me wrong. Fifteen minutes in the sun will give you the daily required dose of vitamin D. The problem is, your skin needs to be exposed to the sun to get that vitamin D. For many people, fifteen minutes is enough for a nasty burn.
There was a time when we did not worry about the sun. This is probably where our fascination with tanned skin comes from. Tanning and even freckling is actually your body's way of protecting your skin from the burning effects of the sun. That's why some fair skinned people can freckle just walking across the street on a sunny day.
So, we need sunlight for light, vitamin D and to keep our planet warm. For centuries tanning was a natural beauty element. What changed? The ozone layer is what changed. In the eighties scientists discovered a hole in the layer that protects our planet and atmosphere. The hole was caused by pollution. During this decade, tanning enthusiasts also discovered they were getting burns instead of tans. Evidently the damaged ozone layer was no longer protecting us from the harmful ultra-violet rays of the sun.
UV exposure can cause sun spots, premature aging, wrinkles and even cancer. Yet, we still long for the warm and glowing sun kissed look. At one time, we simply switched from natural sunshine to tanning beds. We were under the misguided impression that UV rays in a tanning bed could somehow be controlled and not cause damage. This was a mistake in thinking.
True, you can wear sunscreen in a tanning bed to protect your skin, but patrons have suffered eye damage, premature aging and cataracts. The risk of cancer is also still there from the repeated exposure to UV light. Tanning beds are slowly but surely losing their appeal as consumers face the reality of the risks involved in what is purely a cosmetic process.
So what option do the pale ones among us have left? Artificial tanning has made remarkable strides when it comes to giving us an overall bronzed look without harsh side effects or the tell tale orange skin.
Self tanning lotions are a bit tricky to apply, as it must be applied evenly or you'll end up looking like a patchwork doll, with some lighter spots and some darker spots. There are also bronzers and glow products that can be applied as makeup for a quick and easy just-back-from-the-beach look.
The most prevalent self tanning solution on today's market is definitely the spray on tan. Known as air brushing, this quick tanning method only requires you stand in a booth while your tan is literally sprayed on you. The result is an even, all over tan, that won't fade in blotches. A glowing suntanned look that's fast and easy, without the dangers of skin damage, wrinkles or cancer. Now that really is looking healthy!
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