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 Beauty, Good Looks, Grace & Charm

 

Tanning Tips – A Guide to Safe Tanning

Most of us want to look our best in summer and part of that is having a beautifully bronzed and tanned body. But tanning does have its hazards. This article looks at things you should be aware of and how you can achieve the tan you want with least risk to your health.

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Summer time is just around the corner and you want to be ready with that beautiful bronze all-over tan look. Yes I thought so, and who doesn’t!

But before heading over to your local tanning salon or taking those tanning pills, there are some essential facts about tanning that everyone ought to know. Tanning is fine but it should be done very carefully and you need to be aware of the risks and dangers associated with the various types of tanning options available to you.

The major danger with sun tanning is the exposure to ultraviolet light. Extended exposure to ultraviolet radiation from whatever source ages the skin. It also has the potential to cause what’s known as solar radiation damage, and could also lead to cancer of the skin. So the implications of sun tanning are not something to be taken lightly.

Exposure to ultraviolet light can also be responsible for rashes and sunburn. And it is not regularly known that ultraviolet light can also cause fungal skin infections and contact dermatitis. Indeed whether you are tanning in natural sunlight or using a tanning bed, ultraviolet is present in both, so utmost care is required. You should always bear in mind that there is no such thing as totally safe ultraviolet radiation.

Excessive tanning can result in skin conditions such as melasma, whose telltale sign is brown patches on the face, actinic keratosis (AK), and atypical nevus. And certain medications, including birth control pills, can make your skin more susceptible to sunburn. People with existing skin conditions must therefore take extra care when in the sun.

The intention here isn't to put you off tanning altogether, but to simply put you on your guard to be very careful whilst tanning and to be aware constantly of the degree of risk you are taking. As the saying goes – forewarned is forearmed!

Most people, typically women, begin their tanning habit as part of a  Beauty, Good Looks, Grace & Charm regime, frequently when quite young. So if you must tan, then let’s take a look at the precautions you can take to protect your skin.

The safest way to tan is to do it slowly and gradually over as long a period of time as possible. And always use sunscreen when out in the sun and protective goggles provided in tanning salons. These are two of the fundamental rules you should rigidly stick to.

It is recommended that people with certain skin conditions should use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. But if you do have any pre-existing skin conditions, always consult with your doctor first.

Sunscreen should be applied all over any skin to be exposed at least a half hour before commencing tanning, whether in direct sunlight or in the salon. And if you engage in any outdoor activities for extended periods of time, sunscreen should be applied about every two hours.

However, the news isn’t all bad. Indeed sun exposure in moderation can be good for the skin. Sufferers from eczema, pruritus, psoriasis and other skin conditions can actually see improvements with moderate exposure to the sun. But as with everything, tanning sensibly and in moderation is the key.

Of course there are also alternatives to tanning in direct sunlight or using tanning beds. For example sunless tanning is becoming increasingly popular. In sunless tanning, you will enter a room and a machine will spray you with a product that darkens the skin. This spray contains the chemical DHA (an abbreviation for dihydroxyacetone), a substance that gives skin a tan color. This chemical has actually been approved in the United States as safe to use for over twenty-five years.

Obviously sunless tanners are for external use only and when they are being applied, you should ensure that you adequately protect your eyes, nose and other sensitive parts of the body.

You might also have come across tanning pills. These can be found on sale at some tanning salons. However, at least in the United States, they are not currently approved as safe and have been associated with certain types of eye disorders. Some tanning pills have also been linked to liver damage and to urticaria, a skin condition which produces severe itching.

In conclusion, we all want a healthy skin and to look our best in the summer with a beautifully tanned body. Tanning is fine, but do it safely and be aware of how long you are exposed to the sun and harmful ultraviolet radiation. Keep in mind these guidelines and you will be less likely to encounter any serious problems when tanning.

 

Exposing the Truth about Tanning and the World’s Most Common Cancer

“…there is biologic activity and that there is cell damage when the skin is exposed to UV rays. This repair process can eventually fail to do its job completely or correctly causing the cells to replicate abnormally [...] this breakdown in the normal functioning of cells can lead to malignant cancer.”

“Despite the fact that we know that there is no such thing as a safe tan, people still associate bronzed skin with  Beauty, Good Looks, Grace & Charm and health…”

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It is official. Spring has sprung, bringing along with it spring fever. I can see it in my students’ eyes. They are practically breaking out in hives itching to soak up the warm spring sun, despite the fact they are sitting in a class that discusses skin cancer prevention.

Alas, despite their instructor’s desperate pleadings, these 20-something-year-old college students find it difficult, if not arduous, to forego their so-called “need to tan” that Hollywood constantly feeds and propagates. And while it is quite simply impossible for anyone to get a “safe tan” from tanning beds and other forms of ultraviolet radiation, there are several high-quality sunless tanning mousses that not only achieve that coveted bronze look, naturally, but also provide essential sun protection. Now my students, even my pageant girls, can have the best of both worlds.

They no longer have to walk into class with guilt-ridden faces knowing they have completely disregarded the very real dangers associated with using tanning beds. They are happy and healthy. And that makes me, the now dubbed “skin cancer crusader” happy, too.

Yet, despite the fact I am slowly replacing their love for tanning with a safe alternative—that of sunless tanning foams such as those developed and manufactured by Neostrata (which garnered the prestigious Gold Triangle Award from the American Academy of Dermatology in 2005), there remains a deeply pressing concern; a lingering question. How do we educators and advocates effectively tackle the culture of tanning, and thus significantly reduce the alarming increase in skin cancer incidence and mortality as a result of frequenting tanning salons?

Contrary to popular belief, the bottom-line is that there is no such thing as a “safe” tan. Any tan is damage to your skin. And that is a fact. The Indoor Tanning Association (ITA) would have the consumer-driven pop culture hold to the myth that tanning beds are safe, and are even a viable way of treating a variety of skin issues such as acne, or even Seasonal Affective Disorder. Such claims are false, even irresponsible and potentially deadly, and credible scientific research proves it. There is no way to achieve a safe, healthy tan from tanning beds or other sources of ultraviolet radiation.

Consider the following case-and-point.

The American Academy of Dermatology, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently conducted a lengthy and independent research study which sheds some light on this issue, thus proving valuable insight into a media-inundated industry wrought with misleading, confusing, and even erroneous claims about tanning. They discovered, through numerous surveys, that more than 61% of women 18 and older (and 69% of men) equate a tan with  Beauty, Good Looks, Grace & Charm and health (www.aad.org/aad/Newsroom).

Despite the fact that we know that there is no such thing as a safe tan, people still associate bronzed skin with  Beauty, Good Looks, Grace & Charm and health,” said Dr. Darrel S. Rigel, clinical professor at New York University Medical Center. “What’s even more surprising is that the survey showed that 62 % of men and women responded that they know someone who has or had skin cancer, which – depending on its location and severity – does nothing to improve your looks and can be very detrimental to your health.”

Dr. Elizabeth Whitmore, who, like Dr. Rigel, is a member of the AAD, agrees. “People continue to invest both time and money into visiting tanning salons despite evidence which have found an increased incidence of melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer— in those who visit indoor tanning salons.” Joyce Ayoub, director of public information at the Skin Cancer Foundation further attests to this fact. “There is a myth that people like to believe, but it is a myth; not fact. Any tan means damage to the skin.”

Further illustrating this point is a study headed by a team of scientists and researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. These researchers discovered that the use of tanning beds and artificial tanning light sources—even just once, can, indeed, lead to molecular changes in the skin that may lead to cancer. “In comparing the effects of a teenager who was exposed for the first dose of tanning beds to multiple doses […] it is evident that there is damage sustained to the molecular structure of the skin even having only been exposed once,” Whitmore says.

The researchers at Johns Hopkins, who conducted the study of 10 teenagers who were exposed to full-body tanning beds over a period of two weeks which, she says was similar to the routine “a teenager preparing for prom or for a tropical vacation” would undertake. The researched found that the subjects’ skin and blood, (which was carefully analyzed both prior to the UV exposure and after the exposure) had two distinct markers that indicated molecular change.

Whitmore adds, “It’s another indication that there is biologic activity and that there is cell damage when the skin is exposed to UV rays. This repair process can eventually fail to do its job completely or correctly causing the cells to replicate abnormally [...] this breakdown in the normal functioning of cells can lead to malignant cancer.”

In actual fact, the AAD asserts that nearly 90% of skin carcinomas are a result of over-exposure to UV rays. Thusly, The Cancer Crusaders Organization (www.cancercrusaders.org) randomly surveyed college-aged students (18-to-25), and found that nearly 100% reported to having used a tanning bed at least once in their lifetime.

After having been apprised of the risks and dangers associated with tanning, many were undeterred. “Not only does tanning help my acne, it helps me a lot during this time of year when there’s a great deal of pressure with upcoming finals and during the stresses of the holidays,” says Amanda Gusciano, a senior Brigham Young University. “Even though, I am aware of the dangers of tanning, there is still that temptation; I haven’t stopped using tanning beds and I never use sunscreens.”

The significance protecting your skin from the harmful affects of UV-B and UV-A rays goes almost without saying; however, I emphasize it emphatically to both my students and especially to my pageant contestants. UV-B and UV-A rays have varied affects on your skin, your immune system, and your body as a whole. UV-B irradiation disrupts the melanocytes, causing them to release the “redness” known as sunburn. Any change in the color of your skin as a result of over-exposure to the sun is damage to your skin, even if your skin tends to “tan” as opposed to burn.

All changes in the color of your skin as a result of UV exposure is the melanocytes in your skin (the cells responsible for pigmentation) trying to tell you that normal, healthy cells have been severely disrupted. Have you ever left basketball outside in the hot summer sun for a lengthy period of time? And after you retrieved the ball, you immediately notice that the elasticity of the ball is weakened—it feels “rubbery” and never quite “bounces back”? This is exactly what happens to your skin as a result of prolonged UV exposure. Both UV-B and UV-A rays have cumulative effects and coupled together can lead to melanoma skin cancer.

In sum, if you must heed the need to be golden, opt for sunless tanning mousses. There are quality dermatologically-approved sunless tanning mousses available that are reasonably priced, and will give you evenly distributed color, but will do it without the harmful affects of UV-rays. Now you can have the best of both worlds— good looks and good health.

 

Reasons For Preferring Indoor Tanning

Getting a tan, nowadays, is no longer a cosmetic undertaking. A considerable number of people believe that a tan not only makes a person look healthy, but also makes them have stronger and healthier bones. A person who has tanned skin or regularly uses a tanning bed has been found to have bones that are denser and sturdier. Whereas a person who lacks exposure to either direct sunlight or ultraviolet radiation suffers from a lack of vitamin D.

Obtaining a gorgeously tanned ...

tanning beds, home tanning, sun tan, skin care

Getting a tan, nowadays, is no longer a cosmetic undertaking. A considerable number of people believe that a tan not only makes a person look healthy, but also makes them have stronger and healthier bones. A person who has tanned skin or regularly uses a tanning bed has been found to have bones that are denser and sturdier. Whereas a person who lacks exposure to either direct sunlight or ultraviolet radiation suffers from a lack of vitamin D.

Obtaining a gorgeously tanned olive skin can be done in two different ways. A person may either lounge directly under the sun or get inside a tanning bed. Not all people, however, have direct access to the sun. And then there is winter, a season not at all conducive to staying out and soaking in the sunlight. Thus, people resort to tanning beds. Tanning beds give them a great tan and, at the same time, help them stay warm amidst the cold season.

Yet, even when a person lives in a place where there is a hot sun all year round, he may still choose to use a tanning bed instead of spending a day at the beach. One major reason for choosing indoor tanning over outdoor tanning is the precious thing called privacy. Even with the permissive society, some people are still uneasy wearing skimpy swimwear. If these people wear swimwear at all, the design is conservative. Thus, when exposed to the sun, they will have undesirable tan lines.

To avoid the tan lines, the best recourse a person can do is to lie naked under the sun. But the desire for privacy is so strong that the next best thing is to use a tanning bed. Indoor tanning provides the overall tan and the privacy.

Indoor tanning also gives psychological benefits. Aside from the increased confidence of knowing that a person looks good, he can also take the opportunity to have a break from the dizzying everyday bustle. While having the tanning session, he can stay away from cell phones and pagers. The tanning session can be one blessed, undisturbed twenty minutes of peace and warmth. Such a relaxing break will help reduce whatever stress a person is currently carrying on his shoulders. And after the tanning session, he will be more ready and invigorated to meet the demands of his work and of his social life.

This completely restful session cannot be achieved when one chooses to tan outdoors. There will always be people milling around and several strangers asking for directions.

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