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Dog Days and Sunrays

Posted on July 1st, 2015 - Written by: Kim McIntosh

tan

It is officially summer, AKA shorts season. A swipe with a fresh razor blade topped with a dollop of lotion and your legs are ready! But wait, you don’t want to be the Snow White of all the bronzed beauties at that summer jamboree this weekend. Girl, your legs could stop traffic. A little color is a MUST. But how do you get it? Do you lounge at the pool for hours soaking up the sun’s rays? Do you hop in the tanning bed a few times a week to gradually build a glow? Or do you stand spread eagle while a machine mists you with a coat of cocoa? All of the options can be overwhelming but don’t panic, we are here to help!

First of all there are HUNDREDS (literally hundreds) of products including lotions, body butters, balms, oils, and mists (you get the idea) out there that promise to get you luminous, tanned limbs, but for the purposes of this blog post, let’s just compare two categories of tanning: UV tanning (both from the sun and a tanning bed) and spray tanning.

We know that when the skin is exposed to UV light, melanin cells are stimulated causing them to darken; when this happens you have a tan! UV exposure helps us manufacture Vitamin D, an important vitamin nutrient essential for many body functions, including healthy bones and a healthy immune system. Vitamin D also promotes muscle and heart health. And my personal belief is that tanning is also good for the soul (I mean who doesn’t love a day on the beach?!). The down side of UV tanning? We all knew it was coming: skin cancer. Yes, UV light creates free radicals which cause cell damage. Repetitive exposure to the sun causes skin damage, premature aging and wrinkles, and possibly melanoma, or skin cancer. As cancerous moles can be tricky to identify, regularly visiting a dermatologist is recommended.

On the flip side, spray tanning can get you looking very tan very quickly. In today’s fast paced world many people do not have the time or patience for anything other than urgency. If your party is tomorrow, maybe a fresh coat of spray tan would be a good option. With UV exposure, not everyone’s melanin cells react the same, but spray tanning works for all types of skin. If you have skin, you will get tan from a spray tan.  Not only will it give you a sun kissed glow, but it is also a healthy skin treatment. Norvell, a sunless spray used in many salons, is a skin firming formula that builds and restores the skin’s matrix, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

So far this sounds pretty good, right? The downside to spray tanning is that proper body care is required in order for your skin to receive and retain the tan. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! It is SO important that your skin be free of any dead skin cells, moisturizers, make up, or any other barriers.  Exercise is ill-advised the first day or two after getting a spray tan, as this can strip away some of your color. Because sweating profusely could smudge your tan, if you’re like me, it’s probably best to stay indoors and hibernate the first 24 hours, as stepping foot outside in this weather immediately results in an abundant free falling of perspiration.

In the world we live in, tan is trendy. (#trending) How you choose to get there, or whether you even choose to join the trend at all, is entirely up to you. A mist at a salon or a kiss by the sun, a dewy glow or a crispy bronze, this summer we are calling legs of all shades and sizes to rock those rompers.

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