Self-tanning vs. spray tanning

So you’ve heard about the risks of sun exposure and the damage that UV Rays can have to your body, so you decided that you don’t want to put yourself at risk by laying out in the sun or using a tanning bed. That’s a great choice! But you still want to look great this summer and pale skin just isn’t the look you want…  so what are your options? You can self-tan or you can spray tan… but what’s the difference? Is an airbrush tan really different than the spray-on-tans you can buy in a bottle at your local pharmacy?

The answer is YES! And the differences don’t just stop at how they’re applied.

There are tons of self-tanners on the market. There are countless sprays and lotions to choose from and they range in price from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. The ingredients in these products vary, but a large number of them use types of dye to stain your skin. Unless you’re familiar with the product and how it looks on your unique skin tone, it’s hard to tell what shade of “tan” you’ll end up with. This sometimes ends up leaving you with an unnatural, embarrassing orange color.

You also have to be very careful applying your self-tanners. If you miss a spot, you likely won’t notice until the skin around it is colored and it’s still pale! Trying to cover your missed spot with more lotion will only make the dark skin darker and still leave you with a light patch. You have to properly rub all the solution into your skin or you will end up with streaks or splotches of darker color. Sometimes this is hard to do on your back or in places that you can’t easily see or reach. There are also some areas of your body that you don’t want to be as dark as the rest of your skin, like the back of your knees or palms of your hands. Those areas rarely tan in real sunlight so having them match the rest of your tan looks unnatural. Certain self-tanning products can also stain your clothes or furniture as well as your skin, so you’ll have to be cautious around fabrics.

Getting an airbrush tan eliminates many of these concerns!

When you get an airbrush tan, your technician will be able to help you find the right shade for your skin tone. They’re experts at making sure your color won’t look too dark or too unnatural. Airbrush tanning solutions don’t use stains or dyes to create that color. There’s an all natural, organic compound called DHA in these solutions that reacts safely and naturally with the outermost layer of your skin to create a darker pigment naturally. This is added to a bronzing agent to create the perfect glow. All of our products are vegan and never tested on animals. The FDA has approved them and they don’t carry the same health risks associated with tanning beds or laying out in the sun to tan.

Having an expert technician apply the solution also ensures that there will be no missed spots, no streaks, and no unnatural looking tans on areas that you DON’T want! And it’s much quicker than trying to do it yourself.

All of this is much less expensive than you think, too! Check our website for prices and specials. You’ll be surprised at how reasonably priced it is to get a great airbrush tan. You won’t consider going for the self-tan option again…  Make your appointment and start looking and feeling amazing with an airbrush tan from Shine!

Advertisements

Are spray tans safe?

I’m sure you’ve seen the research showing how dangerous sun exposure can be. We’ve learned that the UV rays in the sun that damage our skin are also found in tanning beds. This naturally might lead you to be concerned about the safety of spray tans as well. It’s a healthy concern! Let’s talk a little about airbrush tanning.

Let’s start with the basics … what is it and how does it work?

When you get an airbrush tan, a technician uses as specialized tool to evenly spray a solution on your skin. The solution we’re referring to contains Dihydroxyacetone or “DHA” – I know it sounds kind of scary, but DHA isn’t some sort of toxic chemical. In fact, it’s a completely NON-toxic, organic compound and it creates a reaction with the amino acids in the very outermost layer of your skin. This reaction is completely natural, it’s similar to the one that changes the color of an apple turn when you leave a slice on the table. In contrast, when you tan outdoors or in a tanning bed, the color change happens in the deepest layer of your skin, called the basal layer. UV Rays from the sun or the bed penetrate deeply into your body to initiate the color change, but it can also cause serious skin damage and even cancer. Your sun tan might be temporary, but those UV Rays have broken down the DNA in your skin cells permanently. However, with DHA, nothing penetrates that deeply. The DHA stays on the surface of the skin and the reaction doesn’t affect anything below that first outer layer. We are always shedding and re-growing skin. When that top skin flakes off, the color from your airbrush tan leaves with it. Nothing is permanent with an airbrush tan. They can last 7-10 days on average.

Ok, but how do I know that DHA is safe?

The FDA has done extensive research and deemed DHA safe to use. You should not ingest the solution and you should not get it into your eyes, nose, or mouth. So, when you get an airbrush tan, keep your eyes and mouth closed. Some people prefer to use nose clips as well, just to be safe. There are some people who have been known to have an allergic reaction to spray tans, but that’s usually due to other ingredients in the solutions used and not the DHA itself. If you’re sensitive and have many skin allergies, you might want to test a small area to see how it reacts before you do your whole body. Airbrush tanning does NOT carry the risk of skin cancer or photo-aging that the sun or tanning beds do.

There have been issues reported with other tanning products that are sometimes called tan enhancers, accelerators, promoters, or amplifiers. Many of these products interact with the sun to create an even deeper color, so they are actually accentuating the damage done to the skin by the sun itself. There are also oral pills, which are banned commercially in the U.S. and for good reason. They contain the carotenoid chemical (the same pigment found in carrots), and have been associated with a variety or disorders including hepatitis and hives.  Airbrush tanning contains NONE of these risks either. It won’t protect you from the dangers of the sun, though. So when you leave the house, you’re always encouraged to wear sunscreen with an appropriate SPF number to minimize your risk of damage from the sun.

So airbrush tanning is basically the safest way we’ve found to get a tan! It’s also the fastest. You can get a full body tan in about 15 minutes as opposed to laying in the sun for hours!  I bet you’ll be surprised to learn that it’s also quite affordable. Some salons, like Shine in Denver, even offer an option to do a mobile tanning session, where they bring the equipment to your house for you and tan you in the comfort of your own home! Give it a try and see for yourself. It’s fast, cheap, and SAFE! Why not?

All About Sunscreen!

I’m sure you’ve heard that too much exposure to sunlight can cause skin cancer. It’s true! The sun emits ultraviolet or “UV” rays which can penetrate your skin and damage skin cells. They are like invisible laser beams that zap into your skin and do some real damage. The damage you’re likely most familiar with is sun burn. But there are bigger problems that can come from sun damage, such as cancer. That sounds scary, and it is, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to minimize your risk. The best thing you can do is use sunscreen, but be sure you’re using it properly! Below are a few tips and facts to help you better protect your largest organ: your skin!

Make sure you pick the RIGHT sunscreen.

Many sunscreens only protect you from the sun’s UVB rays, and not UVA rays. Both types of UV rays can cause skin cancer according to the American Cancer Society. UVB rays are mostly responsible for sun burns on the top layers of your skin, but just because you didn’t burn, doesn’t mean that UVA rays didn’t penetrate deeper and cause damage.

The ACS, CDC, and FDA all recommend that you use sunscreens that are SPF 15 or higher and have “broad spectrum” written on the label. Broad Spectrum means that it protects against both UVB and UVA rays.

SPF 30 isn’t “twice the protection” as SPF 15.  The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of your sunscreen is the fraction of rays that reach your skin, so SPF 15 means only 1/15 of UVB rays will reach the skin. SPF 30 can filter out 97 percent of UVB rays, whereas SPF 50 filters out 98 percent. There’s no evidence supporting that SPF values higher than 50 provide any additional protection.

There’s no such thing as “waterproof” sunscreen. Recent FDA regulations prevent companies from claiming sunscreen is “waterproof” anymore. Products can still claim to be “water resistant” for either 40 or 80 minutes of swimming or sweating. However, it is still recommending that you reapply sunscreen after getting wet.

You DO need sunscreen on a cloudy day! And more than just a little dab. 

Even if it’s cold or cloudy outside, you still need to wear sunscreen. Up to 40 percent of the sun’s UV rays reach the earth on a completely cloudy day. That’s more than enough to cause skin damage. According to studies, most people apply only 1/4 of the needed amount of sunscreen. We should be using one ounce of sunscreen to cover our arms, legs, neck and face. More if your back/stomach is exposed! One ounce is about a shot glass worth to put it in perspective.  Also note that sunscreen can and does wear off, so you need to reapply the same amount every two hours or after swimming or a work out that makes you sweat. Don’t skimp!

Applying sunscreen while you’re outside is already too late.

It’s tempting to save some time by grabbing the sunscreen and taking it with you to the beach to put it on there, but sunscreen takes about 30 minutes to be absorbed into your skin, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Be sure to apply it before going outside. And having a “base tan” won’t protect you from radiation. UV rays can penetrate a tan. Your darker pigment only protects up to an equivalent of SPF 3 at most and usually that number is less. You still need to apply sunscreen.

What you wear can help.

You can help combat sun exposure by wearing clothes, hats and sunglasses that advertise UV protection. Not all glasses provide this protection, so be sure to check for it specifically. Watch your clothing, though. Loose, thin materials don’t offer total protection. A typical t-shirt offers protection of roughly SPF 15. If you’re going to spend a whole day outdoors in direct sunlight, you might want to consider putting on a layer of sunscreen even under a thin shirt!

9. Get an airbrush tan if you want some color.

Tanning beds use UV rays to give you a tan. These are the same types of harmful rays in the sun. If you want a tan, FDA-approved airbrush tanning is the way to go. It’s not a dye or stain, the organic compound DHA in airbrush tanning formulas reacts naturally with the top layer of your skin to create a tan that only affects this top layer and doesn’t damage your skin. These tans last 7-10 days and are the safest option for those who desire tan skin but don’t want to risk the permanent damage that UV radiation can cause.

 

It’s May! Sunshine facts and tips for summer

Take a long, deep breath. Feel that? It’s MAY! We made it through the winter! Before summer hits us full-on, let’s talk a little bit about sun exposure.

There are some real dangers associated with too much time in the sun. Sunburn is the most common problem we face. It’s not just a minor annoyance, sun burn is actually the result of deep cellular damage to your skin cells. Sure, that burn might go away in a week or so, but over time, this cellular damage becomes noticeable in other ways. It can give the skin a “leathery” look. It’s more wrinkly, flaky, and discolored that healthy skin. It is also weakened and will bruise more easily, even though it appears to be thicker.

There are bigger worries than unattractive skin, however. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer found today, and many doctors believe that limiting over-exposure to the sun can help prevent it. Certain skin cancers, such as melanoma, can also spread to other areas of the body if not treated in time. This can be life-threatening. So please take sun exposure seriously if you have shrugged it off in the past.

Staying out of direct sunlight is the best way to protect yourself, but chances are, you aren’t completely nocturnal, so you’re going to have to go outdoors! When you do, these tips will help minimize the damage:

  • Wear sunscreen! Always. Every day. Even in winter. Be sure to look at the SPF number on your sunscreen. The larger the SPF number, the greater the amount of protection. Everyone should use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. If you have had  skin cancer or precancer, you should use a sunscreen with an even higher SPF. Many of the new sunscreens have SPFs of 30, 45, or even higher.
  • Wear sunglasses that filter UV light. Many brands make stylish shades that also offer this protection. UV Rays can damage your eyes as well.
  • Wear protective clothing to help shield your skin. Invest in a good hat! The top of your head is usually a tough spot to lather on the sunscreen, but your hair doesn’t cover your scalp the way a hat does.
  • Avoid the mid-day sun. The UV rays that damage your skin are most powerful between 10am to 3pm.

Sunshine isn’t evil, though! In fact, if you don’t get enough sunshine in your life, you can potentially get what is known as SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.  When exposed to less-than-usual sunlight (like during the winter months when sunlight is more scarce) your body produces more melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you feel sleepy.  Your brain also begins producing lower levels of serotonin — the neurotransmitter that affects mood, appetite, sleep, and sexual desire. Simply put, SAD can make you feel sad. Catching a few rays can lift your spirits. Your body also absorbs vitamin D from the sun. The sun isn’t the only place you can get vitamin D, many foods are manufactured to be fortified with Vitamin D, but a little natural vitamin D outside is free and fun!

The sun makes you feel good. And then of course, there’s the way the sun makes you look. Indeed, a tan can make you look younger, healthier, and reduce the appearance of cellulite and age spots. But is vanity worth the risk of skin cancer? No, it certainly isn’t! Many women lay out in direct sunlight for hours to get that perfect tan, but even with sunscreen on, UV rays can penetrate your skin and cause damage. Tanning beds, even though they aren’t real sunlight, carry the same risks because they use the same dangerous rays.

There’s good news, though – there are SAFE tanning products that you can use to bronze your skin without actually using the sun or tanning beds!

Airbrush tanning uses an all natural compound called DHA. DHA isn’t a dye, paint, or stain. It’s actually a non-toxic, organic compound that creates a chemical reaction with the amino acids in the outermost layer of your skin.  This reaction does not involve the underlying skin pigmentation, nor does it require exposure to ultraviolet light to initiate the change in color. DHA is approved by the FDA, and does not carry the serious risks that tanning outdoors or using a tanning bed does. It is a vegan, organic, and safe alternative. It’s also much cheaper and quicker than you might think. Don’t be shy, give it a try this summer!

“You look great! Have you had work done?”

“No, it’s just an airbrush tan!”

You probably think a tan is just a little color, but with a custom airbrush tan, it’s more than that! Skilled technicians can contour the application to make you look thinner, have bigger cleavage, and even have more toned muscles. It’s incredible what some well-placed color can do.  It also makes you look healthier and younger and can hide and diminish blemishes such as varicose veins, age spots and cellulite. As you know, when it comes to make up, less is more. An airbrush tan can even your skin tone without any foundation and will look amazing even after you wash your face at night!

Spray tans have gotten a bad rep for turning people orange and streaky in the past. That’s because spray tans used to use stains and dyes to color the skin. An airbrush tan today doesn’t need all that artificial color! We use a safe, organic compound called DHA which works on the very top layer of your skin and doesn’t penetrate or damage deeper skin cells the way that tanning beds can. It creates a tan in a natural way and is approved by the FDA. Your airbrush tanning technician is specially trained and will apply this formula evenly over your body to create a tan so natural that no one will know it isn’t real!

Plastic surgery is big business. Even “quick fixes” like fillers can cost you a lot of money. Not to mention, there are dangers and recovery time involved with surgeries. If you want an instant, pain-free way to look healthier, slimmer, and younger for under $50, you’ve come to the right place! It only takes roughly 20-40 minutes out of your day, and for a few extra dollars, we can come and give you a tan right in your own home!

An airbrush tan won’t last forever, but if you exfoliate before your appointment, avoid showering or swimming right after it, and then keeping your skin nice and moisturized for the next week, you can prolong your tan up to 10 days, sometimes even longer!  It’s great to do all year round, especially for special occasions or big events.

Time to see what an amazing make-over it can be for yourself! Make an appointment today!

Looking for a fun, fresh idea for Girl’s Night?

You’ve invited your friends over for a “Girl’s Night” next weekend. You’re going to have some food and watch a movie for the millionth time. It’s always fun to see everyone, but do you want to try something different this time? What about getting an airbrush tan?

Airbrush tans are safe alternatives to roasting in the sun or exposing yourself to harmful UV Rays in a tanning bed. You get a beautiful tan in only minutes and it lasts up to ten days! But you don’t have to go OUT to get one. You can bring the tan to you right in your own home.

If you’re in Denver, give SHINE a call and one of our expert technicians will bring a mobile tanning station to your house and give everyone a personalized, amazing tan. It’s great for homecoming parties, bachelorette parties, and plain old get togethers!

If any of your friends are new to tanning, give them these helpful tips before they come over:

  1. Exfoliate at home – use a body scrub or get out that loofah and make sure the top layer of dead skin is scrubbed off your body.
  2. Don’t put on any lotions, sprays, or perfumes before the appointment.
  3. Wear what you’re comfortable in! If that’s a bikini, great. If you’re comfortable going topless, or even nude, go for it! We’ve seen it all and tanned every body type you can imagine.
  4. Afterwards, be sure to stay dry for a few hours while the solution sets in and works its magic. The next morning, be sure to moisturize and keep your skin soft and healthy for as long as you can to lock in that color. When the top layer of your skin sloughs off, the tan will be gone. But the good news is, it’s fast and affordable to get another appointment! 😉

What IS a tan, anyway?

It’s one of those things you probably wonder about for a minute and then never bother to think about again…  What IS a tan? How does your body change color like that?

Well, wonder no longer! There are a few different ways your body can tan naturally. The most obvious is, of course, from the sun! Light from the sun reaches earth in three forms: visible light, ultraviolet light, and infrared. That second type, ultraviolet light, is classified into three categories:

1. UVC, which doesn’t affect us because it’s filtered out by the atmosphere before it can get to our skin.

2. UVB, which typically causes damage in the form of sunburn.

3.  UVA or black light, which causes tanning.

The problems we associate with sun exposure, such as skin cancer, wrinkles, etc. are mostly caused by harmful UVB rays. Research suggests UVA might have an increasing hand in these things as well, however. Most of the sun’s UV radiation at sea level is of the UVA variety.
UVA can be reflected off of snow or water. Snow actually reflects roughly 90% of UV light, which is why you can get severe sun burns while skiing. Sand reflects up to 20% of UVB too, so at the beach, you’re getting more UV exposure than you would sitting in your backyard. It’s hitting you from above and below! There are certain surfaces that can absorb UV radiation rather than reflect it, such as certain types of glass.

Ultraviolet light in the sun stimulates the production of melanin in our skin. This pigment absorbs UV light, protecting cells from damage. Imagine you put a sponge on top of a piece of paper and slowly dropped beads of water onto it. The sponge would soak the water up before it can ruin the paper. That’s sort of what your melanin does to UV rays. Over time, this protective pigment makes your skin look darker, hence: a tan! Caucasians typically have the least amount of melanin in their skin on a day-to-day basis, but in many other races, there is a continuous melanin production, which causes the skin to remain pigmented and also offers more protection against UV rays on a daily basis.

It’s important to note that all UV rays are potentially dangerous. If you keep dropping water onto that sponge, eventually, it will soak through and damage the paper. That’s fine when we’re talking about metaphorical paper, but not so great when we’re talking about your skin! UV rays can cause deep damage to your cells, which results in painful sunburn at best and fatal skin cancer at worst. It’s important to protect yourself from skin damage by wearing sunscreen when you’re outside. Avoiding direct sunlight is the best way to protect yourself. This really ruins your chance at a tan, though.

There’s one more way that you can get naturally darker skin, however. That’s through DHA.  DHA is a non-toxic, organic compound that creates a chemical reaction within the amino acids in the outermost layer of your skin. This reaction does not involve the underlying skin pigmentation, nor does it require exposure to ultraviolet light to initiate the change in color. It is similar to the maillard reaction which occurs in food. It’s a natural, temporary color that looks just like a tan that occurs from melanin. The active ingredient in airbrush tanning is DHA. The color produced in an airbrush tan typically lasts 7-10 days, but it is much safer than roasting yourself in the sun or using a tanning bed.