Why fake tans are better for your health
It is widely known that using sunbeds or tanning outdoors is bad for your health, but few people understand just how serious the risks are. The range of fake tan options available now mean it’s never been easier to tan without the sun.
1. Health Complications
Sunbeds are marketed as quick and effective alternatives to natural tanning, with controllable exposure. However, with one in three cancers being diagnosed as skin cancer, the risks are incredibly high. The UV found naturally in the sunlight and created artificially in sun lamps is known to contribute to skin cancer. The longer wavelength of UVA rays, most commonly used in sunbeds, is able to penetrate more deeply into the skin, increasing the risk of complications. Studies worldwide have shown strong correlation between the use of sunbeds and an increased risk of malignant melanoma developing. There has not been any evidence found that suggests sunbed UV is less harmful than the natural sun, especially not when considering the fact that many sunbed users make regular visits to the salon and are thus exposed to very high levels. Exposure to UV can also cause the structural damage of the skin, leading to burning and scarring and ultimately a phenomenon known as photo ageing. This is when the collagen found naturally in the skin is damaged and broken down by UV, causing wrinkling and sagging.
2. Alternative Options
Starting a fake tan course no longer has to mean standing for hours afraid to touch anything in case of leaving stains. A wide range of products are available, from the usual creams and wipes to mousse products and aerosols. Many of these are suitable for home use, whilst salon treatments are very popular for an effective and professional finish. The spray tan has gained popularity for the effects it can create, sculpting the body and giving an even golden colour. This is applied by a beautician in a salon with a spray gun: much easier than trying to cover every inch of your own skin without leaving streaks or missing areas. Gradual tinted moisturisers are also popular, deepening in colour when applied over a period of days or weeks.
3. Beautician Training
Recent controversy over fake tan products has been largely dismissed. The easiest way to ensure the quality of your tan and safety of your body is to visit a qualified practitioner, experienced in providing tanning services and who is able to assess your skin for the right shade. Good quality products give the desired effect, with none of the health consequences associated with UV rays.
Whatever style of tan you seek, at home or at the salon, be sure to check the credentials of the beautician before starting any treatments but remember that a fake tan will fade, whereas the scars and potential consequences of over-exposure to sunbeds could last a life time. The fashionable golden glow might look good now but in several years’ time when the skin shows signs of damage, you might wish you’d chosen temporary, sunless tanning products.
Jessica Meadows writes regularly for a number of websites on the topics of leisure,health and beauty. To research the fake tan course market and the options available, she spoke to several local beauticians and looked into the health implications.