With summer on the way, a bronzed glow is as coveted as feeling beach-body ready. In 2022, getting your rays from a tanning bed seems outdated in light of all the information we have on skin protection. Spray tanning, self-tanning, and outdoor tanning with proper precautions are all more favourable than the gilded glow of a tanning bed.
Tanning beds have declined in popularity since being introduced in the 1950s. This can be attributed to a greater understanding of the risks associated with indoor tanning, including premature aging, eye disease, immunosuppression, and skin cancer. While baking in the sun all day is not a good idea, tanning beds boast UV rays 10-15 times stronger than getting it straight from the source. In Canada, it’s estimated that 3% of Canadians aged 12 or older turn to tanning beds, for the most part, to provide them with a base coat. It’s a common misconception among users that a base tan will help protect against sunburn – in actuality, the amount is negligible; think SPF 2, not 20.
There are many alternative options to tanning beds for those of us who want to achieve a sun-kissed look safely. One of your best bets is a spray tan. Whether it’s done at home or in a salon, the evenest application will be assisted by another person. Come prepared, though; exfoliation and moisturization are key to keeping your sunless tan looking as natural as possible. Having an orange tinge cling to patches of dry skin is not a good look and is easily avoidable. Otherwise, self-tanning options are available in the form of lotions, cream, mouses, and wipes. These are great for beginners because they build colour over time, and there’s less chance of overapplication.
If you choose to tan outdoors, here are a few things to remember:
- Don’t stay out in the sun too long; thirty minutes at a time is plenty enough.
- Be sure to apply a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 or higher, and reapply after swimming or sweating.
- Always wear sunglasses to shield your eyes and a hat to cover your scalp.
- Drink water frequently to stay hydrated and avoid heat exhaustion.
Tanning beds have fallen out of favour for the simple reason that they’re dangerous to your health. There’s no point putting your skin in harm’s way if you don’t have to; part of caring for your complexion means closely monitoring the natural amount of sun you get, and if that’s not enough of a glow-up, consider a spray tan or self-tanners.