Fake it, don’t bake it


Staff Writer

 The cold weather is here and your skin color is fading. Where do most people go to solve this problem? I’m sure you’ve guessed right since there seems to be more tanning salons available to the public than fast food restaurants. Tanning can become addictive because it makes the body feel relaxed, as well as makes the person more confident. Indoor tanning adds color to your skin but does it benefit you in the long run? Many people do not know how badly tanning salons damage their skin.

You are putting your body at a greater risk when you tan indoors rather than outdoors. Regardless of whichever one you choose, the sun’s rays, which contain UVA and UVB radiation, will affect your skin. Indoor tanning beds have UVA radiation just like the sun, but the radiation’s intensity in the tanning beds can be anywhere from 10 to 15 times more powerful. On the Teen’s Health Website it states,  “UVB radiation burns the upper layers of skin causing sunburns. UVA radiation penetrates to the lower layers of the epidermis, where it triggers cells called melanocytes to produce melanin.” In epidemiological studies, ultraviolet radiation has been linked with an increased risk of skin cancer.

With all of this being said, there is, however, a safe alternative.  Self-tanners can create a bronzed look without ever having to step out into the sun. They come in different forms such as lotions, sprays and foams and usually last anywhere between three to five days. As stated on The Beauty and Nutrition Website, sunless tanners do not change your skin’s DNA. They work by simply staining the outer layer of the skin. Most sunless tanning lotions contain DHA or a chemical called dihydorxyacetone. This product creates a reaction when applied to the skin, and binds to the skins upper layers. Over the course of a few hours a ‘tanned’ appearance appears. If the tan starts to fade, you can simply re-apply the tanner. Unlike outdoor or indoor tanning, self-tanning products do not result in any permanent skin changes or damages and it will not cause you to age.

Some self-tanning products are St. Tropez Whipped Mousse $40, Victoria’s Secret Gleaming Self-Tan Body Tint $18, Bain de Soleil Streakguarde Self-Tanning Crème Dark $10, Lancôme Flash Bronzer Self-Tanning Leg Gel $29.50, Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel $30, Estée Lauder Go Tan Sunless Towelettes $28, L’Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion $9.50, Neutrogena Sun Fresh Sunless Foam $10, Aveda Sun Source $17.50, and Clinique Self-Sun $18.50.  

If you can’t get away from the tanning salon, some salons offer spray tans to health conscious consumers. Whether it’d be a spray tan or self-tanning product, it does not expose your body to any harmful UV radiation at all.  It’s important to consider these alternatives, so you are not putting your body at risk.


Indoor tanning beds have UVA radiation just like the sun but is 10 to 15 times more powerful.

Photo Courtesy of Google



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