Skin cancer is a growing epidemic in this country. According to the American Academy of Dermatology over one million cases of skin cancer are reported each year. Overexposure to the sun’s ultra violet rays and lack of proper sun protection are the main causes of skin cancer, according to the AAD. So what is one supposed to do in order to get that perfect summer glow while avoiding the harmful repercussions that can damage skin? Today, there are countless available methods to fake a natural looking suntan. According to the Mayo Clinic sunless tanners are a practical alternative to sunbathing.
The active ingredient in sunless tanners is DHA or dihydroxyacetone, which reacts with skin cells to produce a color change according to the FDA. Sunless tanners are available in several different forms; sprays, lotions and gels and pills, but the FDA does not recommend utilizing pills to attain a tan. Sunless tanners typically do not contain SPF so if you intend to be outdoors after sunless tanning it is advised that you apply sunscreen. The FDA and Mayo Clinic both suggest that sunless tanning users carefully follow instructions when applying, as different shades can have different effects on certain skin types. Neutrogena Build-a-Tan and Estee Lauder Self-Tan are two products that will produce that natural glow gradually.
Neutrogena Build-A-Tan: $10 at your local drug store
Estee Lauder: $23 at your local department store
Sunless sprays are another alternative to sun bathing. The active ingredient in spray tans is also DHA. Sprays can be administered through machines, or by qualified individuals. The Mayo Clinic suggests that while DHAs are safe when applied superficially to the skin, they may be harmful to the eyes, ears, nose and lungs if the proper protective devices are not worn. Spray tan coloring will appear between eight to twenty-fours hours within application. When spray tanning Philadelphia Magazine suggests following these tips:
• Shower, shave and exfoliate before you go
• DON’T use any scrubs with added oils in them or apply moisturizer after your shower
• Wear dark, loose-fitting clothing to your appointment
• DON’T wear a bra, ladies-if you can go without
• Wait eight hours before showering again (four at the absolute least)
• DON’T worry about the orangey residue rinsing off in your tub-it’s just the extra tanners that didn’t absorb into your skin
Mystic Tan: $35 at a local salon