Tan for a Day – Which method works best for you?

Tanning is one of the most controversial topics related to skin care and beauty. Most people believe that they look ‘healthier’ with  sun-kissed skin, and in most cases it is true. However, you will always encounter the types who go a bit far and all you can see is the whites of their eyes.  They are missing a key point here: sun-kissed, not baked to a crisp. That means a light glow on light skin…. even the Bain de Soleil lady is a few shades lighter than she used to be.

There are so many more options now than there used to be. Whether you choose a self tanner, spray tan or a tanning bed is up to you; there are pros and cons to each option. It is best to be forewarned.

Tanning Beds-Tanning beds use UV rays that are up to 100 times stronger than direct sunlight. This is important to remember since some people think that this is ‘safe’ tanning when it is not. If used in moderation and for the right reasons, tanning beds can be safe and effective. Most tanning salons have limits to how long and how often you can tan, you need to follow their rules and do not try to get all your tan in one day, this is dangerous and stupid. Make sure the salon is clean and the beds are completely  cleaned after each use. There is some speculation about how the UV rays affect your vision a nd eye health so you should always, ALWAYS wear goggles.  If you are still not sure about tanning beds, try another option.

Self – Tanner – Everyone I know has at least one really funny self-tanner story and it seems that for every story, there is a new ‘streakless’ product on the market. I have my own self tanner story and it ends with me having to wear gloves on my son’s first day of Kindergarten….. in August. Experts recommend practicing on your legs and also starting out with a light shade and layering it. DO NOT try to self tan for the first time the night before your wedding. This is a recipe for disaster. Fortunately many of the products now come in a mist form which is much easier to apply than the lotions. In my opinion they are still kind of messy and unreliable.

Spray or Airbrush Tan –Probably the fastest and easiest  method of darkening your skin. The spray tan lasts about five days and is basically safe. I only say ‘basically’ because there are 40+ chemicals used in these sprays and only about 11% of them have ever been tested and/or approved by the FDA. Of course there are dozens of products available so you can find one you are comfortable using. The difference between spray and airbrush is that the airbrush tan is applied by hand by a professional and the spray tan is usually done in a booth with nozzles turned on and off in intermittent cycles. 

 ALWAYS exfoliate before any type of tanning treatment.

ALWAYS protect your eyes.

ALWAYS ask questions if you are unsure.

 NEVER use any lotions or perfumes or other products on your skin unless they are recommended by the salon for the type of tanning you are using.

NEVER attempt any new skin procedures less than two weeks  before an event.

AVOID obvious tan lines by keeping your neckline in mind. 
AVOID any type of artificial tanning if you are pregnant.

If you decide you are fine with pale skin, you are not alone, Nicole Kidman and Madonna both  speak out strongly against tanning and many more celebrities are opting for less color. There also is the hope that the lack of pigment in Robert Pattinson’sskin in all of the famous Twilight movies might just prove a new trend… unless I’m wrong – which happens a lot. One fact is true – tanning ages your skin and makes you appear older than you are. Moderation is the key, use it wisely.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago