Tanning, once viewed as a relaxing pastime, is now a huge trend all over the world. There are now plenty of different types of tans, the main ones being spray tans, tanning beds and the most common, natural tanning outside. Tanning can help you get the skin color you desire, but it is important to know the risks of each product.

Spray tans can be a quick way to give your skin a natural glow before a special event or even to simply look your best at school. Spray tans can range from $20 to $60, depending on the salon. However, one of the hardest things about getting a spray tan is getting the correct color. Spray tans last about 5 to 7 days, and where you get them done can affect how long they last. Before getting a spray tan, one of the worst mistakes you can make is not exfoliating before the tan. If you do not exfoliate, you risk your tan coming out uneven. While you may expect your tan to come out dark, some skins absorb the color differently. Some skins have more of a glow, and some are brown, but over time your skin will get used to the solution.   

Another tanning option is using a tanning bed. This has become a common option, but most do not realize that although they are a good way to get a lasting tan, they can be very harmful to your health. One session can cost from $7 to $25 for 7 to 20 minutes inside the tanning bed. At some salons, you can earn a VIP membership that will get you discounts and sometimes, a free tan. Tanning beds use UVA lamps to set off rays deep into the skin to give it color. For instance, if you do not wear the correct type of eye protection, you can severely damage your eyes, and the tanning beds can result in skin cancer if you overuse them.  

The most common type of tanning is outside in the sun. This is the most successful on a hot day. The best place to tan is by the water, due to the reflection of the sun’s rays on your skin. When you tan, the best way to protect your skin from long term damage is to apply sunscreen. When applying sunscreen, you have to reapply it often and the most effective type is an SPF above 15. Although tanning in the open sounds like a good idea, there are consequences. If you spend too much time out in the sun with no protection on your skin, you run the risk of getting skin cancer, but the price tag, of course, is always right.

As the summer winds down, consider these options to keep your skin looking fresh and tan throughout the year.

By: Hannah Keltner


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