The serious warnings that come along with allowing yourself to tan - look are all too standard. Slather on the SPF or be faced with less than desirable outcomes like premature ageing, sun spots and more sinister outcomes like skin cancer.
How you tan.
From the Sun. When you get colour from the sun, it usually shows up first as a sunburn (your body’s initial reaction to UV exposure and sun damage), and then settles into a tan colour, created by the excess melanin produced in order to protect your skin from further damage.
From Tanning Beds.
Exposure to UV rays through tanning beds damages the skin just like the sun does; the difference is that tanning beds can release more UVA rays (the ones that lead to premature aging) in comparison to UVB rays (cause burning), and the amount of overall radiation can be stronger than the sun.
The key ingredient in most self-tanners, a chemical called dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, goes to work when it comes into contact with oxygen, creating a reaction in the top layer of your skin (the dead cells) that leads to the tan colour. The tanner doesn’t reach the deeper layers, and once the top skin cells flake off, the tan fades.
Tips for a flawless self-tan.
Anyone who has ever used a self-tanner knows getting great results usually relies on one key factor: how adept you are at applying it. But, besides giving it a go a few times, and making sure you have the perfect shade and smooth, exfoliated skin as the base, and there are lesser-known techniques and tricks to take into account to get great results.
Wear socks. Since your feet (and hands, wrists) are thinner-skinned than the rest of your body, they hold more colour when tanner is applied, so shield them. Apply a light swipe of tanner from your feet to yoru ankles and from your wrists to your arms, then apply your regular lotion over that to get the colour cohesive and water it down a bit.
Why a tan ruins your skin.
Contrary to popular belief, its not the actual sun-kissed shade thats doing the damage, its whats going on underneath the skins surface thats harmful. Getting a ‘tan’ is the skins response to DNA damage. By the time a tan shows up on your skin the damage has already been done.