In some countries, pale skin is prized because a tan is indicative of the working class. But throughout much of the world, a golden tan is seen as an indicator of youthful good health. This is an unfortunate turn of events, however, because sun exposure can not only cause skin damage and lead to premature signs of aging (fine lines, wrinkles, spots, etc.), but it can also be responsible for the onset of melanoma, especially for those who suffer one or more serious sunburns as an adult. Of course, there’s no reason you need to go in the sun – you can create the illusion of tanned skin in a number of ways that don’t require sun exposure. Here are some safe and healthy options you might want to consider if a golden tan ranks high on your list of beauty priorities.
The first thing you should know is that not all sunless tanning options are safe or healthy. For example, there’s really no difference between tanning outdoors and using a tanning bed, regardless of what you might have heard. In both cases you’ll be exposed to the same UV rays that cause premature aging and potentially even skin cancer. Using a tanning bed may mean that you receive less exposure because your session is timed (whereas you might spend more time outdoors without realizing it since you’re unlikely to set a timer while sunbathing). But the UV rays that produce a tan are the same whether you’re under the sun or tanning lamps. Equally bad are tanning pills, which contain an additive called canthaxanthin that can tint your skin from within. It can also cause liver damage and other unfortunate side effects, which is probably why such pills aren’t FDA approved.
But there are a number of safe solutions you may want to try if you’re not interested in risking your health in pursuit of a tan. A good place to start is with self-tanning products, which are cheap, readily available, and relatively easy to apply on your own. With appropriate prep work (exfoliation, moisturization, etc.) these products can provide you with a safe and affordable means of creating the illusion of a tan. But they’re not without their drawbacks. Some are messy, others are orange, and some can produce uneven results, even when you prepare your skin accordingly. Plus, you may have to engage in trial and error, with so many different mediums to choose from (lotions, sprays, foams, wipes, and so on). In general, lotions like Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer are going to be your best bet because they’re easy to apply and you can determine your level of tan with the frequency of use.
On the other hand, you might want to ensure professional results by scheduling an appointment with a trained airbrush technician using professional grade products from spray tan solutions direct. As healthy tan options go, spray tanning is likely to look the best. This is because a technician can not only achieve more even and complete overall coverage, but you’ll also get a custom-mixed color that will best match your skin tone and provide you with a natural golden glow that automated spray tanning booths may not be able to. Regardless of the option you choose, though, you’re going to get a safer tanning experience than sun exposure provides.