Depending on what part of the world you’re living in, chances are that you’re feeling the Summer weather all too well. Some of us live in mildly hot areas, and some of us live in average temperature locations. Then you have people who write articles about tanning while living in the hottest part of the United States! And while the weather is certainly manageable, it really sucks not getting to eat ice cream while outdoors…or walking across the street without the sun bearing down on you like a wicked storm!
Our point is that it’s really hot outside.
Chances are high that you’re gonna want to make the most of this temperature while it lasts.
Why not get a body tan?
How Does Tanning Work?
Whether you enjoy the outdoors or prefer being inside all day, your skin has a special way that it interacts with UV rays. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, UV rays are short for ultraviolet rays and come directly from the Sun (or high-powered light bulbs, alternatively). Whenever your skin comes into contact with UV rays, cells known as melanocytes activate and produce a chemical known as melanin. Melanin not only prevents your skin from burning, but it’s also responsible for producing brown-looking pigments, i.e. your lovely tan.
Of course, you should always keep in mind the pros and cons of collecting too many UV rays. Melanin can only protect you for so long until your skin just stops producing it. When that happens, you risk contracting sunburn or worse; skin cancer. Avoid that from happening and limit your time under UV rays.
Or, better yet, use some form of skin protection such as sunscreen!
How Many Ways Can I Tan?
The best thing about tanning is that you aren’t forced to do it in one single way. We’re all individuals who enjoy different tastes, after all. One person that enjoys going outside might not enjoy the same kind of tan someone who prefers tanning indoors. It’s all about preferences and we’re here to help you make your decision!
There are technically three ways you can tan:
The most common way to tan, outdoor tanning is considered to be the safest and most natural means of darkening your skin. Due to the sensitive nature of human skin, avid tanners have always debated over the hazards of tanning in any location that isn’t outdoors. The truth of the matter is that any kind of tanning is considered dangerous in some way. It’s up to the tanners to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays.
The best way to do that, of course, is to use sunscreen before going outside. The ingredients in most brands give your skin a little extra time before your body’s melanin runs dry. Each application lasts up to two hours or more, depending on how strong the particular lotion is. So as long as you routinely apply sunscreen during your tanning session, you’ll be just fine!
Another popular way to achieve a tan, indoor tanning is accomplished by stepping into a tanning bed and letting the ultra-powerful UV lights heat up your skin. This method is said to bring much faster results, which will certainly benefit you if you aren’t the most patient person in the world. Unfortunately, it costs more money to use tanning beds. Not only that, but some have argued that artificial UV lights are more harmful to your skin than actual UV rays. Whether this claim is true or not, we’re not sure; the research into this topic has come up with mixed results over the years.
In any case, we recommend using indoor tanning lotion to protect yourself. Normal sunscreen is very harmful to the insides of tanning beds, as the chemicals can unintentionally warp the acrylic paint and ultimately destroy the machine. If this thought scares you–and you aren’t sure of which type of indoor tanning lotion you’d like–then we recommend checking out this Top 20 list over at Justtanninglotion. There are all sorts of brands that they’ve got lined up for you to research!
This technically isn’t even a real tan, but we’re counting it because of how many people actually prefer this method. Unlike the other two methods, spray tans require very little light to work. All you do is stand underneath a bright light for a few minutes while a professional spray your body with artificial tanning solution. Once they’re finished, you stand under the light for a few more minutes until you’re told to come out.
While this method is definitely the fastest of the three, spray tans have a bad reputation for leaving customers with hideous “Oompa Loompa” skin. Not only that, but they tend to not last very long; thus requiring frequent trips back to the salon. Which hey, if you’re someone who loves the feeling of receiving a spray tan, then we aren’t going to judge you. We may not recommend it, but as we’ve already said…the way you tan is ultimately up to you!
Now That I Know My Options, How Can I Get myself Tanned?
As you’ll come to expect, your tanning work will come in the way you pick and see fit. Avid indoor tanners (as well as spray tanners) often advocate for providing business to small tanning salons. You just look for the nearest one to your home and just walk in/call in an appointment. Upon arrival, just let your tanning specialist know what you want and they’ll get you squared away!
If you’re too poor to frivolously spend money at tanning salons, then your next option is to go au naturale. In other words, grab a tube of sunscreen and just hang out outdoors for a few hours! You don’t have to spend any money this way, and you’re guaranteed a much healthier tan. Just don’t stay out too long or you’ll be miserable in the morning!
There you have it, our take on tanning. Which style do you prefer?