A tanned look is the latest rage these days, what with celebrities like Paris Hilton, Jennifer Lopez and Kate Hudson endorsing the look. Tanned look makes you look younger, the blemishes and imperfections on your skin get evened out and there is an overall healthy glow on your face. Getting a tanned look can be really easy these days, with so many artificial tan products on the shelves, promising to make you tanned in a jiffy. Apart from the tanning products which are available off the shelf, natural methods of tanning include exposure to the sun’s rays or usage of tanning beds to get the desired effect of tanned skin.
Natural and the easiest method to get tanned is to soak up as much sun as possible, by lying in the sun. While this may sound easy, there are quite a few things to keep in mind while exposing yourself to the sun.
Exfoliate your skin well before stepping out in the sun, this will help in uniform tanning of the skin.
Just because you plan to have a tan, doesn’t mean you should do away with sun screen. A sun screen helps in keeping the harmful UV rays of the sun at bay and prevents premature ageing and sun burns, while ensuring that you get a tanned look. An SPF with about 10-15 strength will not only protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun, will also not interfere with the tanning process. Sun tan lotion should surely be used if the total exposure to the sun is going to be more than half an hour. Application of sun tan should be at least 20minutes before you step out in the sun. A suntan lotion also helps in moisturizing your skin.
Wear swim suits that will expose enough skin. Often, tan lines are visible when you wear a skimpier swim suit than the one in which you had a sun bath, making the entire look unsightly.
Choose places which give a lot of exposure to the sun, such as on the beach, in your own backyard, by the swimming pool etc. Take care to see that all of your body gets exposed to the sun by frequently changing sides and exposing your front, back and sides often. Nothing looks more miserable than an uneven sun tan.
Once you start to get your tan, take care to keep your skin well hydrated by drinking lots of water and moisturizing it in order to keep the tan for a longer period of time.
Sunless Tan / Fake Tan
Tan bed / Sun bed
If you do not have the time or find the sun rays too harsh, your next best bet is usage of sun bed or sun tanning bed, which help you get a tan cosmetically. How the sun beds work is relatively simple, they are fitted with lamps which emit UVA and UVB rays – similar to those being emitted from the sun. A person needs to lie on the tan bed in as few clothes as possible and get tanned cosmetically.
The process of taking care to tan evenly primarily remains the same as when you opt for lazing around in the sun and getting a tan, however, while using a sun bed, take care to use sun screen on your face and lip balm to protect your lips from getting chapped. Wearing tanning bed goggles will help prevent your eyes developing creases or crow’s feet.
If you are a first timer, the tan bed should be set at the least setting to begin with and gradually the same should be increased if you are unhappy with the tan results. Remember that it takes anywhere from 24 hours to 48 hours for the tan effect to show through, so it will be a good idea to wait for 2 days before going in for a higher level of the machine.
Moisturizing and drinking lots of water is very essential even when you use a tan bed.
A fast and relatively simple method of getting a fake tan is getting airbrush tan done. In this, the person needs to go to a spray booth, get airbrushed with a chemical called dihydroxyacetone, which is mixed with a spray base to get an even sun tan all over. It is important to note that the eyes and lips need to be covered using protective masks to prevent oneself from inhaling/ consuming the chemical. The method sounds simple but the results are not as permanent as the tanning achieved by lying in the sun or using a tanning bed. Also professional help should be chosen based on their ability to airbrush well so as not to have uneven and blotchy tan.
Convenient to use, cheap and quick tans – sounds great doesn’t it? Spray tans are just that. You could use spray tans in the comfort of your home. These are generally artificial brown spray cans which when sprayed on your body look like a natural tan. While it may sound simple, often this could be a messy affair, with the spray rubbing off on to your clothes, if it is still not set and the result may be blotchy, if enough care and expertise is not exhibited.
While tanning has a lot of cosmetic implications, what with you looking pleasing and getting an even skin tone, tanning by usage of UV rays of tanning bed or direct exposure to sun may result health hazards such as sun burns or even skin cancer.
It is hence absolutely imperative to use sun screen as discussed above, hydrating your body at timely intervals and keeping a watch over any uneven breakouts or zits that you have not experienced before and consult a good dermatologist at the slightest hint of any of these conditions.
No pain, no gain is the mantra fashionable women live by, and I don’t see why tanning should be an exception to this rule!