Do you want that sun-kissed glow, but don't want to expose your skin to the sun's damaging rays? Most people want healthy looking tan skin, but not everyone has the time or desire to sun bathe or visit a tanning booth. Also, exposing your skin to ultraviolet radiation can result in skin damage, skin cancer, and premature aging. Strike a compromise and try sunless tanning products. Sunless tanning can give your skin that bronzed look any time of year, without fear of skin damage.
Sunless tanning products, or self tanning products, give skin a tan appearance without exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays. These products are commonly sold as sprays, lotions, creams, and gels. Professional airbrush spray tanning is a fast-growing business and often found at spas, salons, and tanning facilities.
Most sunless tanning products contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as the active ingredient. The tan skin result is not a stain or dye. The DHA reacts with skin cells in the outermost skin layer and darkens the skin temporarily. It does not require exposure to ultraviolet light to initiate the color change. The tan color does not wash off, but gradually fades as the dead skin cells slough off. The tan fades gradually over 4-10 days.
Sunless tanning products typically go on clear. Many airbrush spray solutions contain a bronze color guide, which makes application easier to visualize. Tan color results begin to appear after one hour. Full tan color will typically appear within eight hours.
Spray tanning from a salon or spa can be applied to all parts of the body to ensure an even color, including the face. This creates a potential for the product to get into the eyes and near the nostrils. There are no known risks of inhaling or ingesting DHA, but many people keep their eyes and mouth closed during the application. Protective devices such as nose plugs or eye goggles can be used as well.
Bronzers are also a popular alternative to sunbathing. These are for temporary, one-day only tans, and are often used in compliment with sunless tanning. Airbrush spray tans often contain a bronzer that acts as a color guide. This provides the instant gratification of bronzed skin, and also a tan that develops later. Bronzers are available in powders, sprays, gels, and lotions. They create a tan that can be easily washed off with soap and water.
Sunless tanning pills exist, and most contain the color additive canthaxanthin to create tanned skin. Although the FDA has approved the use of canthaxanthin in food, it is not approved for use as a tanning agent. When used as a food color additive, only a very small amount of canthaxanthin is used. As a tanning agent, however, much larger quantities are needed. When taken in large amounts, canthaxanthin can turn skin orange and cause side effects. Large amounts can cause liver damage or lead to the formation of crystals in the retina of the eye.
Topical sunless tanning products are considered safe alternatives to sunbathing. They can give skin a sun-kissed glow any time of year without damage from ultraviolet radiation. Most sunless tanning products do not contain sunscreen, so sunscreen remains essential if you spend time outdoors. If you want the golden glow of a tan without exposure to damaging UV radiation, consider using a sunless tanning product. You will look like you just came back from the beach, but your skin will be healthy without damage from the sun's rays.
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