Courtesy of MCT
Summertime is all about getting a golden glow, but with the FDA information on the danger of DHA’s (dihydroxyacetone) effect on your genes, even spray tanning is out of the question. This raises the question: is tanning really worth your time?
Honestly, it’s probably not worth the risk, but for those of you willing to deal with the extra steps of lotion, wipes and at-home tanning methods here are some helpful tips.
Lotion can be tricky, but it’s definitely the safer alternative. The problem with spray-tans is the chemicals surround your nose and mouth during the process, causing you to inhale the DHA. Lotion takes care of this issue, but can sometimes be difficult to apply evenly and effectively. One way to avoid serious mishaps is to choose a gradual tanner appropriate for your skin tone. If you tend to burn after 20 minutes in the sun and are at a high risk for skin cancer, opt for the fair tanner. If you can get a golden brown after some fun in the sun, choose medium. For those of you who rarely burn, opt for dark. I also suggest applying lotion with the help of a friend. You’ll avoid missing any spots, you can have them apply the lotion on your back and hard to reach spots like your shoulder blades.
Wipes are also a good way to avoid inhaling DHA. Though these are generally the expensive option, they are an easier clean up and can sometimes make for a more even application. You’ll probably need to enlist the help of a friend again, but at least this time it will feel less awkward during the application process. If you have sensitive skin, opt for fragrance-free wipes to avoid breakouts and itchy rashes.
If you’re not sure about at-home tanning methods and want to know that you’re not causing yourself streaky skin, try out some tinted moisturizer. This will give you instant gratification and if you don’t like how it turns out, simply hop in the shower. You’ll also be able to make your skin look as light or dark as you like-something that’s not possible with gradual self-tanning products.
Bronzer and face-specific lotion will be your best friends when it comes to your facial skin. This skin sees more sun than any other part of your body and is generally more sensitive to products. Try to avoid oil-based lotions and opt for something that will also be gradual if you want something more permanent. Contouring with bronzer can do a lot for your look. Simply brush some bronzing powder right under your cheekbones, on the bridge of your nose and on your forehead for the perfect beach-day glow.
While all these methods are good alternatives, soaking up some rays is generally the most natural way to get a tan. However, sunscreen is super important to avoid any kind of skin cancer or serious wrinkles later on in life. It may not seem worth it now, but 20-or even 10-years you’ll be happy you chose the safer skin route.