The practice of tanning under UV lamps has long been recognized as risky business. Exposure to UV radiation is a leading cause of every type of skin cancer – including fatal melanoma. But adolescents and adults still flock to tanning salons every year seeking a toasted brown skin tone. Fashion trends may make pale skin popular again in the future (as it was in the recent past). Perhaps the latest rash of vampire books, movies, and TV shows will spark this new trend! Until then, people with a light complexion who want to achieve a warmer skin color should look to other products that are less harmful. What options do you have?
These pressed cosmetic powders are designed to provide a sun-kissed look for your face, neck, upper chest, and shoulders. If you really just want to look like you have a healthy glow, a bronzer is ideal. The powder can be easily touched up as needed and washes off completely when you remove your makeup. If you concentrate the bronzer on areas like your forehead, nose, cheekbones, and chin, you can mimic the effects of actual sun exposure.
These come in lotion, cream, oil, and spray varieties. They are somewhat difficult to apply evenly – especially on hard-to-reach areas of your body. Streaking and patches of darker than desired color are common problems which can only be avoided with practice. Picking a tanner that is only slightly darker than your existing skin tone is the easiest way to keep from looking like an orange popsicle. Some formulas, like “Spray on Legs” just adhere to the surface of your skin and can be washed off easily with soap and water. Others penetrate deeper into the layer of dead skin cells (stratum corneum) and fade as old skin exfoliates.
Ironically, spray tanning is most commonly practiced by people who also use UV tanning. However, it can also be used to wean you off of bed tanning if you really feel you need a smooth, all-over tan year round. Always ask for mouth/nose protection to keep you from inhaling the chemicals used. Some people do have an allergic skin reaction to spray tanning. If you have an allergic response, discontinue spray tanning. It’s better to be pale than to be covered in an itchy red rash!