Sun Exposure: Fact vs. Fiction

Unless you’re a vampire, you’ve been out and exposed to the sun before. Chances are, you’ve heard conflicting opinions on whether it’s good or bad to be outside while the sun is shining. Let’s break down the facts and fiction of sun exposure!

“The sun can cause skin cancer.”   – Fact

The sun is a glowing radiation factory, giving off three categories of ultraviolet light: UVC, UVB and UVA. In the case of the UVC radiation, it is of no consequence to the skin because it is absorbed by the ozone layer before reaching the earth. However, the other two forms of ultraviolet radiation DO affect humans, mainly in the skin. The radiation changes the make-up of your skin cells down to the very DNA. When too much damage occurs, it can sometimes cause skin cells to grow and reproduce rapidly and this can lead to cancerous tumors. 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. Both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers can be invasive. As well as growing across the surface of the skin, tumors can sometimes grow down through the layers of skin. If the tumor grows through the wall of a blood or lymph vessel, cancer cells can break off and spread to other parts of the body. This is why skin cancer is usually easier to treat successfully when it is caught at an early stage.

“Catching some rays is GOOD for you!” – Fact

Let’s emphasize the “some” in that sentence. Sunshine isn’t all bad, but moderation and protection are the keys. 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, though. Many foods are manufactured to be fortified with Vitamin D.

But don’t spend all day in direct sunlight! Wear protective clothing as well as head and eye wear if you can, and definitely put on sunscreen before stepping outdoors.

“You won’t get sunburn if you wear sunscreen.”   – Fiction

Slapping on a little sunscreen in the morning is not a magic cure to protect you all day from sun exposure. 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 pre-cancer, you should use a sunscreen with an even higher SPF. Many of the new sunscreens have SPFs of 30, 45, or even higher. Sunburn is the most common problem associated with too much sun exposure. But it’s not just annoying and uncomfortable, sun burn is the result of deep cellular damage to your skin cells.  Over time, this damage becomes noticeable in other ways. It can give the skin a “leathery” look. It’s more wrinkly, flakey, and discolored that healthy skin. It is also weakened and will bruise more easily, even though it appears to be thicker. Sunscreen wears off, especially in water. So re-apply throughout the day!

“If you avoid the mid-day sun, you’ll be okay.” – Fiction

While it’s true that the UV rays that damage your skin are most powerful between 10am to 3pm, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get sunburn and skin damage earlier or later in the day. Even if you’re only going to be outside for an hour or two in the morning or just before sunset, wear that sunscreen!

“You can get the same skin damage from tanning beds that you can from the sun.” – Fact

Tanning beds work by producing the same UV Rays that the sun does. It is not a safe alternative to tanning outdoors and you need to take the same precautions when using a tanning bed that you would if you were laying around outside.

“Airbrush tanning is a safe alternative to tanning beds or laying out in the sun.” – Fact

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 to laying out in the sun or using a tanning bed.

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The sun can hurt – we can help!

Us humans look great with a tan. A little color helps us look healthier, younger, and even slimmer! Unfortunately, that color can come at a cost. I don’t mean money, I mean your health!

Sunburn is the most common health problem associated with too much sun exposure. I know what you’re thinking: “Sunburn isn’t fun, but we’ve all had it to varying degrees and we’re fine”… but it’s not just annoying and uncomfortable, sun burn is actually the result of deep cellular damage to your skin cells.  Over time, this damage becomes noticeable in other ways. It can give the skin that “leathery” look. It’s more wrinkly, flakey, and discolored that healthy skin. It is also weakened and will bruise more easily, even if it appears to be thicker.

Still not concerned about health effects from the sun? You might be surprised to learn that 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. Too much exposure to direct sunlight can increase your chances of developing skin cancer, and certain skin cancers, such as melanoma, can also spread to other areas of the body if not treated in time, so it’s nothing to scoff at.

Staying out of direct sunlight is the best way to protect yourself, but there’s no way to completely avoid the sun! When you go outdoors, these tips will help minimize the damage:

Wear sunscreen! 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 pre-cancer, 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 as your skin.

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.

But what about getting a tan?

Many people 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. 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.

The Safety of Spray Tans

By now, 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 might lead you to wondering about the safety of airbrush tanning as well.

Let’s start with the basics – What is an airbrush tan? How does it work?

When you get an airbrush tan, a technician uses as specialized tool to evenly spray a solution on your skin. This solution soaks into your skin and leaves you with a natural tan for approximately 7-10 days.  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 stratum corneum, which is the very outermost layer of your skin. This reaction is completely natural, it’s similar to the one that makes an apple turn brown when you cut into it. 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 the sun has broken down the DNA in your skin cells permanently. 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 of skin. 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.

But is DHA 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, and don’t inhale the solution. 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. 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?

Spring Tanning Options

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Spring is around the corner and you want to start preparing for all your warmer-weather activities and outfits. Looking pale as a ghost doesn’t go well with your spring wardrobe! So what are your options to get that healthy glowing tan that will look great with everything?

Sun Bathing

You can always go outside and soak in the sun. While it might cost less than other options, it’s definitely less safe and takes a longer time to get results. UV Radiation is what creates a tan and this radiation can be very dangerous. Sun burn is the risk we most often think of. Sun burn is not fun at all. It’s painful, ugly, and lasts longer than anyone would like. But there are other dangers, too…  UV Rays are known to cause skin cancer, cataracts, premature skin aging, and suppression of the immune system. UVA rays in particular have been shown to increase the chance of getting melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer! As great as getting a perfect tan can be, it’s certainly not worth dying for.

Tanning Beds

Tanning beds work by emitting ultraviolet radiation, or UV Rays, which work deep inside your skin to change pigment and create a tan. There are two types of UV rays – UVA and UVB. Most tanning beds primarily emit UVA rays, although some “high pressure” tanning beds emit a more concentrated mixture of the two. UV Radiation is that dangerous radiation we just talked about. There are plenty of side effects to watch out for.

The FDA has banned the use of tanning beds by minors and strongly discourages people from using tanning beds for cosmetic purposes. There are simply too many risks involved. Besides skin cancer, you risk getting a sunburn, and without using goggles, you put yourself at risk of getting a condition called arc eye, or snow blindness – which is basically like a sunburn on your eyes! Talk about painful! Many tanning booths limit your exposure to 20 minutes, but depending on your skin type, 20 minutes can be enough time to cause serious damage, especially when you go often.

Why spend time and money for something so dangerous? There’s a safer alternative…

Airbrush Tanning

Spray tanning has come a LONG way since the days where it was an obvious, streaky, orange mess.  We’ve mastered the formula and the application, creating the modern airbrush tan. It’s a work of art. The artists hardly get credit though, since their work looks so natural that you’d never even know!

Airbrush tanning doesn’t create color using a dye or stain, it uses a compound called Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, which is an all-natural, simple carbohydrate with formula C3H6O3. This skin browning effect is non-toxic and similar to the Maillard reaction. Different amino acids react to DHA in different ways, producing different tones of coloration from yellow to brown. The resulting pigments are similar in coloration to melanin, the natural substance which browns or “tans” from exposure to UV rays. But all of this takes place in the outermost layer of the skin, not deep in the lower layers like a sun tan. It’s a natural, organic reaction, not one caused by radiation. The result is a natural looking tan without the harmful side effects.

We no longer have to stand in a booth that sprays you and turn around hoping to get every inch of skin evenly either! Airbrush tans are applied using a special spray “gun” by trained professionals. You won’t miss a spot or have some areas darker than others. Airbrush tanning technicians can even apply the formula in such a way that you can add slimming contours and cover problem areas specifically.

When properly cared for, an airbrush tan can last up to 10 days. It’s a natural, organic, safe option for getting some color all year long. And best of all? It’s quick! Instead of lying around all day getting a tan, you can be in and out in 15 minutes with a full body tan, and technicians can even come to your home with a mobile station and do it for you there!

Give us a call for an appointment and see what all the fuss is about.

What You Need To Know About Sun Exposure!

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What are the dangers of over-exposure?

Sunburn is the most common problem associated with too much sun exposure. But it’s not just annoying and uncomfortable, sun burn is the result of deep cellular damage to your skin cells.  Over time, this damage becomes noticeable in other ways. It can give the skin a “leathery” look. It’s more wrinkly, flakey, and discolored that healthy skin. It is also weakened and will bruise more easily, even though it appears to be thicker.

The biggest danger of sun exposure, however, is skin cancer. 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.

What are the benefits of sun exposure?

Sunshine isn’t all bad! 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, though. Many foods are manufactured to be fortified with Vitamin D.

Being active outdoors and getting exercise is healthy, but you should still take steps to protect yourself from the damaging effects of the sun while you’re outside enjoying yourself.

How can I avoid damage from the sun?

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! So 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.

But what about getting a tan?

Many people like the way a suntan makes them look. And 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.

Extend The Life of Your Airbrush Tan

tanning-banner

We don’t get many complaints about airbrush tanning. It’s safe, it’s affordable, and it looks fantastic. The only disappointment we hear from customers is that they wish it could last longer. While we can’t make it last forever, we DO have some tips to extend the life of your tan. It all starts the day before your appointment…

EXFOLIATE! Tanning beds and the sun itself produce UV Rays which penetrate deep into your skins to create a tan. This can cause damage deep within your skin ranging from sunburns to skin cancer. Spray tans, however, only work on the top, outermost layer of your skin. This makes them much safer, but it also means that the tan won’t last as long. We are always losing skin. The top layer of skin dies and falls off or gets rubbed away by clothes, showers, etc. To make sure you’re not applying your tanning solution to a layer of dead skin that is just about the fall off, you should exfoliate the day before your tanning session so that the fresh skin underneath is the skin that gets tanned. There are tons of exfoliating scrubs, sponges, and gloves on the market that can help you with this task. You can even make your own natural sugar scrub if you’re so inclined! There are tons of great recipes out there. Whatever you choose to use, make sure you do it the day before your appointment!

SHAVE FIRST. This goes along with the exfoliating… Make sure you shave (or wax) the day before your appointment. When you remove hair, you often remove a bit of skin as well. If you wait until after your airbrush tan, you’ll be removing a layer of the newly tanned skin with your hair, and that will reduce the time you get to spend with that glow. Plus, if you have hair on your body, the tanning solution will get on the hair and it can block the solution from getting to your skin and working it’s magic.

SKIP THE LOTION BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT. On the day of your appointment, don’t put on any creams, sprays, perfumes, or lotions. A layer of lotion on your skin can block the tanning solution from absorbing into your skin.

WEAR LOOSE CLOTHING.  Skinny jeans are great, but don’t wear them to your airbrush tanning appointment. The tanning solution dries pretty quickly, but it’s still a good idea to avoid tight-fitting clothes that will rub against your skin and potentially rub your solution off before it has a chance to fully penetrate and give you the best possible tan.

STAY DRY! It’s not just tight clothes that can potentially disrupt your tan. Water can also wash off the solution before it’s finished fully penetrating and bonding to your skin. It takes about 6-8 hours for the solution to completely settle in and do it’s job. Until then, avoid showers, baths, saunas, and heavy work-outs – sweating opens pores and washes away the solution just as much as a shower can.

NOW IT’S TIME TO MOISTURIZE. Once your tan has settled in (after that initial 6-8 hours) then be sure you keep it moist to lock that skin in. You know how your skin gets flakey when it’s dry? Those flakes are dead skin shedding off. Your hydrated skin will stay healthier longer. Once your skin is nice and tan, we want to keep it! Keeping your skin moisturized will ensure that you keep that tan as long as possible. We recommend moisturizing at least twice a day. If you can find a moisturizer that has SPF sun protection built-in, even better! It will help protect your skin from those damaging UV Rays we mentioned earlier!

AVOID CHLORINE. After an airbrush tan, it’s best to limit your time in chlorinated pools. Chlorine dries your skin out and sometimes can even have a bleaching effect. So it’s best to avoid chlorine altogether if possible, but if not – be sure to shower it off as soon as you can when you get out of the pool and keep that moisturizer flowing!

Following these tips can ensure that your tan lasts as long as possible!

Weigh Your Tanning Options

funny-Canadian-girl-sunbathing-snow

Sunbathing just isn’t an option this winter, unless there’s a plane ticket involved – so how can you maintain a healthy glow? Well… there are a few options. Let’s take a look:

Tanning Beds

Tanning beds work by emitting ultraviolet radiation, or UV Rays, which work deep inside your skin to change pigment and create a tan. There are two types of UV rays – UVA and UVB. Most tanning beds primarily emit UVA rays, although some “high pressure” tanning beds emit a more concentrated mixture of the two. UV Radiation is natural – the sun emits it, but don’t let that fool you – this radiation can be very dangerous.  UV Rays are known to cause skin cancer, cataracts, premature skin aging, and suppression of the immune system. UVA rays in particular have been shown to increase the chance of getting melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer! As great as getting a perfect tan can be, it’s certainly not worth dying for.

The FDA has banned the use of tanning beds by minors and strongly discourages people from using tanning beds for cosmetic purposes. There are simply too many risks involved. Besides skin cancer, you risk getting a sunburn, and without using goggles, you put yourself at risk of getting a condition called arc eye, or snow blindness – which is basically like a sunburn on your eyes! Talk about painful! Many tanning booths limit your exposure to 20 minutes, but depending on your skin type, 20 minutes can be enough time to cause serious damage, especially when you go often.

Why spend time and money for something so dangerous? There’s a safer alternative…

 

Spray Tanning

Spray tanning has come a LONG way since the days where it was an obvious, streaky, orange mess.  We’ve mastered the formula and the application, creating the modern airbrush tan. It’s a work of art. The artists hardly get credit though, since their work looks so natural that you’d never even know!

Airbrush tanning doesn’t create color using a dye or stain, it uses a compound called Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, which is an all-natural, simple carbohydrate with formula C3H6O3. This skin browning effect is non-toxic and similar to the Maillard reaction. Different amino acids react to DHA in different ways, producing different tones of coloration from yellow to brown. The resulting pigments are similar in coloration to melanin, the natural substance which browns or “tans” from exposure to UV rays. But all of this takes place in the outermost layer of the skin, not deep in the lower layers like a sun tan. It’s a natural, organic reaction, not one caused by radiation. The result is a natural looking tan without the harmful side effects.

We no longer have to stand in a booth that sprays you and turn around hoping to get every inch of skin evenly either! Airbrush tans are applied using a special spray “gun” by trained professionals. You won’t miss a spot or have some areas darker than others. Airbrush tanning technicians can even apply the formula in such a way that you can add slimming contours and cover problem areas specifically.

When properly cared for, an airbrush tan can last up to 10 days. It’s a natural, organic, safe option for getting some color all year long. And best of all? It’s quick! Instead of lying around all day getting a tan, you can be in and out in 15 minutes with a full body tan, and technicians can even come to your home with a mobile station and do it for you there!

Give us a call for an appointment and see what all the fuss is about.