To tan or not to tan: that is the question. Some of us tan indirectly because of our love of the outdoors while others tan intentionally because of our desire to have a beautifully looking body. If you are one of those who tan to get that lovely glow that the sun provides, there are things to consider when it comes to the type of tanning method you choose. You may even be interested in opening your own tanning business to accommodate those who enjoy that golden-glow but don't have time for the sunning. Essentially, there are only a few methods of tanning: natural application (the sun), a sun tanning bed, or airbrush (tanning spray).
The natural form of tanning, through the sun, has existed since Adam & Eve. Those who work outside such as landscapers or leisurely oriented people come into contact with the sun regularly. For the pleasure, oriented individual, the sun offers the beauty of nature at its finest. Further, with the proper amount of sun exposure, people will either burn or tan depending on their skin composition and whether or not sun screen is used. The people who purposely tan and use little or no sun screen must understand how they're exposing their bodies to potentially harmful side-effects. First, many people may not realize it, but the body's way of protecting itself from the sun is to produce melanin (thus producing a tan). Melanin is produced by cells in the body in response to sun exposure and helps to absorb solar rays thereby protecting the body. However, at some point, the body releases more melanin than usual to repair damaged skin and the skin turns even darker. At this point, a sunburn can occur pointing to the first signs of skin damage. There are two basic sun rays impacting the body: UVA rays, which are consistent throughout the day and year and can prematurely age the skin; and UVB rays, which are stronger during certain times of the year, such as summer, and are the primary cause of sunburn.
Tanning beds and parlors are another way of achieving a tan but through artificial means. However, artificial may not mean safely. Tanning beds do offer a quicker tan than the sun does . This way there is less time spent absorbing harmful UV rays. It is further thought that melanin is released at a quicker and more efficient rate than time spent under the sun, thus making it more bearable. Now for a few of the negatives. Tanning beds emit UVA rays much more intensely than the sun. While an instant tan may result, long-term studies show that the skin takes more abuse from a tanning bed. After prolonged tanning bed use, the skin begins to take on the texture of rubber or leather. The other critical issue concerning beds is that, because of the ultra-strong UVA rays, the eyes, more specifically, the retina can be damaged. Proper eye protection is a definite must; although, there's no clear evidence that goggles offer 100% protection from the more intrusive UVA waves.
Finally, there is the airbrush or spray-on method. This is becoming increasingly popular in-spite of the fact that it's kind of messy and a little sticky; however, it's probably the safest way to get that golden glow that you desire. This doesn't mean that sun screen isn't required to block the UVA and UVB rays. Also, it takes 4 or 5 hours for the solution to dry so no shower for a while, and, the effects typically lasts only about two weeks, after that you'll need another airbrushing. However, given the alternatives of the sun and tanning beds, both of which present UV concerns, getting sprayed every so often probably is acceptable. Plus, it's a terrific, small business opportunity for those willing to learn and invest in the proper equipment.