Style & Beauty
To Spray or Not to Spray? The Pros and Cons of a Spray Tan
6/1/2020 10:34:04 AM
To Spray or Not to Spray

Most people love a just-back-from-the-beach glow, but most of us know that sun damage can be downright dangerous. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer by age 70. And the main dermatologist-recommended solution for preventing skin cancer is avoiding cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation by staying out the sun and using high-SPF sunscreen every day. Even without the risk of skin cancer, sun damage causes dark spots and premature aging, making that "healthy” tan all-around unhealthy in the long run.

Still, many feel more confident with a bit of color, especially in the summer, when the weather calls for shorts and sandals. A spray tan, whether from a salon or from a drugstore tanning product, is a good alternative to harmful UV radiation from sunbathing or visiting tanning booths. 

Spray tans are easy to manage and maintain

Spray tans are not difficult to come by. Most tanning salons also offer a spray tan or "airbrush” sessions, which range in price but usually cost somewhere around $45. The level of tan is customizable based on skin tone and preference, so whether tanners like a deep golden look or just a little bit of color, there are options for everyone. Salon spray tans also help avoid that "streaky” look of unevenly applied color. 

But for those who don’t want to venture out to the salon, there are also plenty of mists and even color boosting lotions sold at beauty supply and drug stores. These take a bit more skill to apply but users can take their time in the privacy of their own homes. These solutions are also quite a bit cheaper than regular salon appointments. 

But they may not be 100% risk-free

The main chemical in those salon and drug store spray tans is something called dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which causes a chemical reaction when it comes into contact with dead skin cells, causing skin to appear darker until those cells are naturally exfoliated. The problem, however, is that studies have shown DHA also supports the formation of free radicals, which are associated with increased cancer risks. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that tanners cover their noses, eyes, and mouths when interacting with DHA, but many salons don’t offer the proper coverings. At home, it might be easier to avoid DHA by applying spray tanner with the recommending coverings and avoiding the face altogether.

A spray, sadly, doesn’t last all that long

Nothing lasts forever, and a spray tan only lasts about five to ten days, depending on how dark it is. A deep tan, of course, takes the longest to fade, but those who just want a little bit of a glow might find that they need to be touched up every week. 

But even though there are a few drawbacks, most dermatologists agree that the benefits of opting for a spray tan far outweigh the drawbacks of a sun tan. If you’re looking for a little summer color without the risk, now is a great time to experiment! 

Posted by: Emily Alford | Submit comment | Tell a friend

Categories: Skin Care

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