Killing time in the Sun v Sun-less tanning

news: Killing time in the Sun v Sun-less tanning

By SHARON HILDITCH, Managing Director, Crystal Clear International Limited – [email protected]

It was Hollywood that first brought and sold the virtues of having a golden tan, reversing the emphasis on whiteness that had been prevalent up until the 21st century.Along with the trend, it brought an increase in the amount of skin cancers being diagnosed. Skin cancer is now at an all time high. Forty thousand new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Britain alone including 6.000 of malignant melanoma which kills about 1.600 people a year. While lying in the sun may give us that feel good factor, as serotonin, the brain hormone that makes us feel happy and elated, is produced in much greater quantities when we lie in the sun; it is also worth remembering that what produces that feel good factor has the potential to kill us.

The culprit responsible is ultraviolet light, and it works in many different ways to cause skin cancer. Each time skin is exposed to sun and becomes tanned or burned, damage is done to individual cells. Some cells die and some repair themselves. Cells that cannot repair themselves eventually become defective cells. Defective cells that are not destroyed slowly grow and produce a tumour.

There are three types of UV sun rays:

UVA rays, while not as powerful as UVB, penetrate the skin and are responsible for contributing to photo damage and wrinkling of the skin, premature ageing, and skin cancer. UVA is prevalent in tanning parlours where tanning devices can emit two to five times more UVA than is found in natural sunlight.

UVB rays are shorter but stronger than UVA. UVB primarily affects the skin’s outer layers and is thought to be the primary cause of sunburn, skin aging and skin cancer. UVB rays tend to be more intense during the summer months, at higher altitudes, and at locales closer to the equator. Repeated exposure to UVB over the course of one’s life can cause skin cancer and alter the immune system.

UVC rays are the strongest, most dangerous rays. However, little attention is given to UVC rays as they are normally filtered by the ozone layer and do not reach the Earth.

Prevention means guarding the skin against the known causes of skin cancer. Since the sun’s ultraviolet rays are the main culprit, the most effective preventative method is sun avoidance.

So, after reading the above, why do we still want to run the risk of developing skin cancer simply to achieve a tan, when we now have alternatives such as fake tanning. Fake tanning has certainly come along way from the humble beginnings of the products that gave us an orange glow, to the instant, beautiful, natural, golden tan that can now be achieved in a matter of minutes. Spray tanning has never been so popular. While we cannot change the attitude of all our clients wishing to sport golden skin, we can help educate them as to the danger. By offering our clients an alternative solution to the golden sun kissed look that they long for, we may just help save our clients’ lives.

Customers can now have a spray tan in less than 15 minutes and walk out of our salon looking as if they have spent two weeks laying on a beach, and most importantly without any damage to the skin. In fact, most fake tanning products now contain active anti-ageing properties to actually improve the skin.

The innovations in tanning technology are improving all the time and they actually work on the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis. The active ingredients within tanning solutions is dihydroxyacetone ( DHA), a colourless sugar that interacts with the dead skin cells and causes a colour change to occur that results in a tan. The amount of DHA determines the depth of the tan and results normally last 7 to 10 days.Just like a normal tan, the skin cells are sloughed away causing the fake tan to fade in the same way as a suntan.

Clients are advised to use exfoliating products in between spray tanning sessions to help encourage the sloughing of dead skin cells, keeping the skin looking smooth and silky and prepared for the next spray.

In the near future, and before jetting off for much needed holidays, our clients will be able to walk into the salon and be sprayed with tanning solutions that not only give an instant golden tan, but that will also contain active ingredients to provide UVA & UVB protection. This treatment will allow them to swim all day in chlorinated water without washing the tan away, whilst providing immense anti-ageing and skin protecting qualities.