How to Choose the Right Sunless Tanning Product
Sunless tanning products come in several forms. The efficacy and results of these methods vary. Prices also vary. Treatments can cost anywhere from just a few dollars for a sunless tanning cream, to as much as $100 an hour for a few sessions at a salon. With so many options for sunless tanning, it can be hard to decide which sunless tanning products are best.
Most sunless tanning aids are harmless, but none will prevent the skin damage caused by the sun and UV radiation. Additional precautions will need to be taken to prevent sun damage. Furthermore, methods such as tanning beds and tanning pills are controversial and thought to be unsafe. The FDA, in fact, has not approved most tanning pills. Another facet of sunless tanning products is how long they last. Spray tans will last five to seven days, while tans from creams or powders will wash off quickly.
There are three types of ultraviolet or UV radiation put out by the sun and by tanning beds and lamps: UVC, at 100 to 290 nm, UVB, at 290 to 320 nm, and UVA, at 320 to 400 nm. It is the UVA and UVB rays that are the most harmful to our skin. UVB is easier to protect against than UVA, but both cause very real damage. Going sunless does not guarantee against skin damage from UV radiation.
Another determining factor for which sunless tanning products will work for an individual is skin type. Not only will bronzers and cream and sprays give differing results for fair or darker skin, but fair-skinned people are more susceptible to burning when using sunless tanning means such as tanning beds or tanning lamps. The melanin produced by people with fairer skin, particularly redheads, does not absorb radiation as well as that produced by less fair skinned people, leaving these individuals more susceptible to sun damage.
Perhaps you want a suntanned look for just one occasion such as an evening out. Maybe you want something with more even coverage and a longer life. Or, maybe you've looked at all options available in sunless tanning products and decided to get your tan the old-fashioned way, after all. All of this is perfectly fine. If you choose the latter, however, be sure to take measures to protect your skin.