Artificial Tanning: An Analysis

Artificial tanning, as the name itself implies refers to methods that can be used at home or at professional facilities like salons or booths to acquire a tan. It is not necessary to endure hours in the sun and get a sunburn in the process.

The artificial tanning products are considered to be a better alternative to the traditional way of tanning. Let us talk about the pros and cons of the same.

First, a look at the benefits of artificial tanning:

  • Products like lotions and creams can be used in the comfort of your home. Pills can be taken privately and tanning beds have also gained popularity because of their convenience.

  • Also with the advancements in the products, the tan given by these products has become better and more natural.

  • These present self-tanning products offer a wide variety. They have ingredients like moisturizers and humectants for those who have a dry skin. And for those having an oily skin, the lotion might be alcohol-based or gel-based. Along with them, vitamins, herbs, AHA's (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and anti-oxidants are added to them. So, you can go in for the product best suited to your skin type.

  • These products are available in light, medium or dark tones depending on the shade of the tan that you want to get. And best of all, you don't have to wait for the summer months to come. Just get yourself any of these artificial tanning products in the winters and get that sun-kissed skin whenever you want. And without any sun damage at all. They are the best bet for those who get sunburned easily.

  • Now talking about the disadvantages of artificial tanning:

  • Do read the labels on these products very carefully as they may contain ingredients harmful to your skin. You may be allergic to any of the ingredients. So, go for a patch-test before applying it all over the body.

  • Some of the products might actually just lend a temporary tint to your skin. Unless and until they contain DHA (dihydroxy acetone), they are not certified tanning agents. DHA, a colorless sugar reacts with the outer dead layer of the skin and gives it a darker bronze color which will be lost once that layer of skin is shed.

  • Commercial use of tanning beds as in the case of tanning booths may lead to the spread of infections if they are not cleaned properly. This is because another person was using the same tanning bed before you did and may have inadvertently spread some infections.

  • The tanning pills may lead to conditions like urticaria and hepatitis.

  • Some of these tanners, especially the pills may give you a hideous looking orange color rather than the tan that you had actually desired for. So, you have to guard against such an eventuality.

  • Talking of the tanning booths, they work on the principle of emitting UV rays which are quite harmful in the long run. So, we have to take that risk into account as well. In fact, the UVB rays can lead to changes in the DNA itself leading to cancerous eruptions. On the other hand, the UVA rays are responsible for skin aging and wrinkles.

  • If your eyes are not adequately protected against these UV rays, they may actually lead to keratitis.

The bottom line is that anything done in moderation is fine. And the same rule applies to tanning as well.