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Everything you should know about tanning

Most of us feel more healthy and confident about our looks with a good tan. At the same time, we all know excessive sun exposure is bad for our skin. If you have not already considered the alternatives to baking in the sun for your tan, read on. We take a close look at the pros and cons of natural versus artificial tanning especially with regards to sun damage.

The pros to a natural tan are that with time it forms a nice, deep tan color and of course it looks the most natural because it is. Another great thing about a natural tan is that it will last longer than most artificial ones. Don’t forget that you are also likely doing something fun or are in a nice location outside when you are getting a tan. Who doesn’t love to have fun outside in the sun while also ending up looking great?

But the cons to a natural tan are substantial. The sun can cause burning of the skin if you are not wearing sunscreen. The biggest mistake that people make is not re-applying their sunscreen about every hour and a half which is what causes the burning. Another minor problem is uneven tanning when we miss spots on our bodies with the sunscreen or due to the lines caused by the garment we were wearing when out in the sun. They’re funny sometimes but not very attractive.

Exposure to the sun can causes are hyperpigmentation, photo -aging and in cases even skin cancer. That sun kissed glow sometimes comes at a high price, a price you can end up paying over a long time.

What about tanning beds? Well, the best thing about them is once you get a good tan this way it is also dark, deep and spread evenly all over your body. You cannot get a more even tan than with a tanning bed. There will be no strap marks, no bikini lines and no sunscreen mishaps.

As with many seemingly easy things there are disadvantages to using tanning beds. First, they can burn the skin just like the sun if you use the wrong setting. Second, it takes a lot of trips to the tanning salon to get that deep tan we all want. Then once you get it, you have to go back at least weekly to keep it, which can be expensive. Third, it presents the same risks of skin damage as the sun. In fact it has been labeled bythe International Agency for Research on Cancer as “probably carcinogenic”. That means it probably can cause cancer as well. Pretty scary stuff, huh?

So what else is there?

The spray-on over the counter tans are all that are left by way of options. A lot of people actually prefer it to tanning salons. They arefast, safe, non-cancer causing and won’t cause premature aging or wrinkles. There are even anti – aging spray on tanners like Sunsoak Age Defying Self- Tanner by Hydroxatone®. These types of tanners give a good, natural-looking glowing tan. What more could you ask for? But hold on, it’s not as easy as it appears. More often than not, a poor application can cause streaking and uneven skin tones. Some spray-on tans are also sticky and messy when setting and some types fade in patchy spots causing you to look a lot worse than you started out.

When it comes to young looking tanned skin, there really are no easy choices. The only sure thing is that over-exposure to the sun is really bad for the skin, so always wear and reapply sunscreen. Apart from that weigh the pros and the cons of each of the above methods and decide for yourself.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing lrstewar@gmail.com.