As summer looms over the horizon of April and May, there is always the anticipation of pulling out those summer outfits that always seem to look their best with a deeper and darker skin tone. By the time summer rolls around, it’s always nice to feel the sun, and enjoy the tan that it leaves on your skin. To achieve this “perfect tan”, there are several methods; some like to tan the natural way, while others prefer synthetic methods such as using tanning beds and tanning products. However, not all of these methods have your skin in their best interest.
How does tanning work?
When you tan naturally, the sun’s rays penetrate your skin on two different levels. The sun’s rays are separated into two categories; the UVB rays, which have a tendency to burn the upper layers of your skin; and the UVA rays, which penetrate the lower layers in your skin and activate the melanin pigments that cause your skin to become darker. Though these UVA rays are most effective in darkening your skin, in large amounts they can cause serious skin damage that may lead to conditions such as skin cancer and melanoma.
Tanning beds may seem like a safer bet, as the rays that are synthetically created in tanning booths aren’t the same as those that are created by the sun. In fact, tanning booths are more dangerous than leaving your house without sunscreen on. This is because the ultraviolet UVA rays that are used tanning beds are extremely similar to the rays of the sun, and in a much higher concentration. The synthetic ultraviolet rays leave your skin with a burn in its lower layers, and although you may not be able to see it, the tanning bed rays will leave your skin thinner, making it more difficult to heal.
Tanning the natural way isn’t always unsafe, in fact, by wearing sunscreen, you lessen your risk of skin cancer by a significant amount. If you’re afraid of remaining pale because of the sunscreen, don’t worry because your sunblock acts as an agent to divert harmful rays from penetrating your skin, and you will still receive a long lasting and even tan.
If you’ve ever wondered how celebrities retain their suntans during the winter months, their secret is not in their expensive beachfront homes, rather, many simply use sunless tanning products. A sunless tanning product may come in the form of a spray or lotion, and will provide you with a darker skin tone – minus the harmful effects. If you’re worried about streaking or an uneven tan, just relax, because many sunless tanning products have been on the market for years now, and are much more user-friendly than the old prototypes.
In the end, tanned skin isn’t as healthy as regular skin. By taking steps to protect your skin by wearing sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, or using other medicines that will protect your skin from sun, you can ensure that your skin remains healthy, without the harmful effects that may lead to skin cancer.
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