Tanning: Benefits & Risks

February 26, 2016

ThinkstockPhotos-159191410Warm weather is coming. With parkas and scarves soon making way for short-sleeves and bikinis, a healthy tan can help you feel confident and beautiful in your skin. While everyone wants a sun-kissed glow, too much tanning can lead to wrinkles, sun spots and even skin cancer. From tanning beds to natural sunshine, here are a few benefits and risks to help you achieve your base in a safe and healthy manner.

Tanning Beds

Featuring a higher UVA to UVB ratio than the sun, rays from the fluorescent lightbulbs in tanning beds penetrate deeper into the skin and produce a darker tan. While tanning beds offer a fast and relatively inexpensive bronze throughout the year, they are accompanied by many risks. According to the World Health Organization, artificial UV rays can lead to skin cancer, wrinkles and eye damage.

Natural Sunshine

Although sunbathing is much safer than a tanning bed, overexposure can lead to skin cancer and wrinkles. Use your best judgement and apply SPF protection to avoid getting burned. The biggest side-benefit of natural sunshine is vitamin D. Sunbathe without sunscreen for about 10 minutes each day to get your daily dose.

Tanning Lotions

Found in drugstores and department stores across the country, the quality of self-tanning lotion varies depending on the brand. While tanning lotion is safe for your skin according to the FDA, it can lead to an uneven tan or orange-looking skin. It can do the trick in a pinch, but tanning lotion is generally a low-cost, DIY option.

Spray Tanning

Spray tans are applied at a salon and feature the same ingredients as self-tanning lotion. Spray tanning is fast, easy and comes with no risk of streaking or an uneven glow. However, they are the most expensive and the chemicals in the spray can be harmful if they are inhaled or get in your eyes.

No matter which method you choose, excessive tanning is bad for your skin. Thinking about getting a MicroLaserPeel or a different skin rejuvenation treatment? Tell your clinician about any self-tanning products you use or the procedure will leave you badly burned!