The Advantages of Sunless Tanning Booths
While many people recall seemingly endless hours outdoors soaking up the sun's rays, sunbathing isn't as carefree an activity as it used to be. These days, there's more to worry about, such as premature aging, scarring, blemishes, and skin cancer. There are three types of ultraviolet or UV radiation: UVC, at 100 to 290 nm, UVB, at 290 to 320 nm, and UVA, at 320 to 400 nm. It is the UVA and UVB rays that are the most harmful to our skin. UVB is easier to protect against than UVA, but both cause very real damage.
There are also those who desire quicker results than what natural sunlight offers. For such people, sunless tanning is an alternative. Sunless tanning refers to the process of attaining the appearance of a tan by using such products as lotions, sprays, powders, pills, and tanning beds. The efficacy and results of these methods vary.
The body has its own way of protecting us from UV radiation. Our skin protects us from UV damage by producing melanin, a substance that absorbs the harmful rays in order to protect our DNA. When the body produces melanin, our skin darkens, taking on a darker appearance. This is how we tan.
A sunless tanning booth is a small room where the client tans by either receiving a spray tan or by using a tanning bed. Tanning beds are controversial, particularly for their use among teens, because of concerns about the risk of developing skin cancer from their use. While the tanning beds used to work using UVB rays, salon owners switched to using beds that emit UVA rays, believing them to be safer. Sadly, it is UVA rays that are associated with development of skin cancer.
Another kind of sunless tanning booth is much safer: The tanning spray booth. Currently, spray tans are found at high-end salons and can run up to $100 for a few one-hour sessions. A sunless tanning booth that uses spray instead of a tanning bed works via use of a spray containing dihydroxyacetone (DHA.)
DHA is applied in a fine mist to the entire body of the customer. DHA reacts with dead skin cells on the surface of the body, causing them to turn brown. Most tanners who use the spray method report good, realistic results and excellent coverage. The spray-on tans last five to seven days, typically.