Thanks to studies which have proven that too much sunshine can irreparably damage skin cells, gone are the days of "soaking up rays" by the pool with your friends. And if they're not gone for you yet, unless you want to end up looking like a splotchy, wrinkled apple in your 30s, you won't hesitate to get them gone ASAP.
Why risk your skin and even, your life, when there are so many effective and easily accessible indoor tanning alternatives?
Lets consider your options from most potentially harmful, down to least harmful.
The one that started it all, tanning booths are getting more and more high-tech every year. These days, 'high pressure' booths weed out burning UVB lights and give you a deep tan using only UVA. After establishing a solid base tan, only slight maintenance should keep you looking summer-ready all year long. Since this tan actually encourages melanin production in your skin, the tan you get is natural and helps protect you from burning in future endeavors out in the sun.
Tanning salons now offer customers a UV-free method of achieving a bronzed bod in the form of spray tanning. Check with your salon to find out if they offer both automated and by-hand spray tanning. The automated version involves stepping into a booth and standing there as a machine sprays a fine mist of color over the front, then back of your body. This process takes about one minute and you can be dry and ready to go one minute after that. Airbrushing is a spray tanning method which involves a person with a spray gun going over your body with a fine mist of color. This is usually more expensive but takes only slightly longer than the automated version. Airbrushing by hand is often a more careful option, as the machine version sometimes misses spots.
Self Tanning Products:
If you find that you've got tan lines you don't want to see, or that your spray tan has missed a spot, self tanning sprays and lotions are available at drug stores and makeup counters worldwide. These products allow you to self apply in the comfort of your own home and give you instant and effective results. Thanks to growing consumer interest, many products have evolved to a point where they provide even coverage and a natural looking color. These products also come in lotion, gel, or spray form.
Both spray tanning and self tanning products are superficial, which means that they do not protect your skin from sun exposure. Remember to wear sunscreen every time you leave the house.