Tanning Salons Hastings NE
Faking It: The Tanning Solution
By Leslie Crawford
Question: When I consider the amount of time I’ve spent roasting my skin on various beaches and the number of “normal looking” moles I have—not to mention the iffy status of the ozone—I can’t help but conclude that suntanning is not merely unwise, but foolish. However, it simply will not do for me to go about looking pasty-white, like a London banker!
Therefore, I ask if you could offer any tips on using those tanning creams that would give me an even,nonblotchy tan. Are there specific brands you believe to be superior? Also, is the regular use of tanning preparation bad for the skin? I appreciate your expert advice.
Gentle reader, if only that ghostly-white banker look were in vogue. Sadly, it’s not, which is why you aspire to be a golden girl. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, our species hasn’t evolved enough to fully realize that a savage tan is evidence not of health, but of skin damage. Not to cast a pall over the sunny topic of summer tans, but this year more than 1 million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer. Equally alarming, more than half of all new cancers occur on the skin. And yet we continue zapping ourselves in tanning salons and roasting ourselves beneath that enormous wrinkle machine in the sky.
Nowadays, however, tanning creams are a reasonable alternative. We’ve come a long way since the Pleisto- cene era of self-tanners, when Coppertone’s QT turned its victims so orange that the look was more orangutan than beach bunny. Thanks to recent advances, you can expose yourself on the beach this summer without shame.
“I have been fooled a number of times,” says Mark Naylor, a dermatologist and clinical associate professor at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. “These days, you can get good results from a tube.”
Today’s tanning creams work by performing such an impressive bit of chemical alchemy that within hours of application, the skin can look as if it’s been naturally tanned. The active ingredient is a colorless sugar called DHA (dihydroxyacetone), which darkens the skin much the way exposure to air turns a sliced apple brown. Once applied, the DHA-laden cream interacts with the amino acids on the skin’s outermost dead cell layer to create a tanned effect.
But does DHA, which has been used in tanning formulas for a while now, present any health risks? “None that we know of,” says Chris Harmon, who’s a dermatologist and clinical instructor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The chemical doesn’t penetrate deeply, he says, and it sloughs off in about four to seven days. The biggest concern doctors have about these creams, says Harmon, is that people may falsely assume they shield skin from the sun. They don’t. “The color alone does not provide any protection against sunlight,” says Harmon, who stresses the importance of using sunblock whenever you venture outdoors.
So go ahead, Beverly, and get thee to the beach. But don’t forget to wear a big...
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