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?

Science of Tanning

1221There are several ways you can get a natural tan. The most obvious is from the sun. Light from the sun reaches the earth in three different forms: visible light, infrared light, and ultraviolet light. The last type, ultraviolet light, is classified into three separate categories:
* UVA or black light, which causes tanning.
* UVB, which typically causes damage in the form of sunburn.
* UVC, which doesn’t affect us because it’s filtered out by the atmosphere before it can get to our skin.
The problems we associate with sun exposure, such as premature aging, skin cancer, sun spots, etc. are primarily caused by harmful UVB rays. Research suggests UVA might have a hand in these things as well. Most of the sun’s UV radiation at sea level is UVA rays.
UVA can be reflected, as well. Snow actually reflects roughly 90% of UV light, which is why you can get severe sun burns while skiing or snow boarding. Sand reflects up to 20% of UVB too, so at the beach, you’re getting more UV exposure than you would be getting if you were sitting in your backyard. Water also reflects UV light, although it doesn’t prevent it from penetrating the surface of the water. You can still get burned while swimming. Some surfaces can absorb these rays rather than reflect them. Certain types of glass do this, and our own melanin in our skin absorbs UV light to some degree.

Ultraviolet light in the sun stimulates the production of melanin. This pigment protects cells from damage by absorbing as much UV radiation as it can. 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. It can become saturated, though. Eventually if you keep dropping water on it, the paper will be ruined.

It’s this protective melanin in your skin which gets darker and creates what we call 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.

It’s important to note that all UV rays are potentially dangerous. They 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 is one more way that you can get naturally darker skin, however. That’s through DHA.  DHA is an organic compound naturally found in your own body that creates a chemical reaction within the amino acids in the outermost layer of your skin when applied directly to the exterior of your body. 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.

Healthy Tanning. Ban the bed!

yoga-wellnesseuphoria

I had a friend who was committed to living a healthy lifestyle. She only ate organic vegan food, she worked out, she was sure to get a yearly check ups and did monthly self-breast exams, she tried to use holistic medicines when she was sick as much as possible, but then I found out that she was still using tanning beds! I couldn’t believe it. It turns out she had no idea how harmful they can be. She knew that laying in the sun could cause skin damage, including cancer, but she assumed that tanning beds were different, that they were safer…  the truth is, tanning beds use UV Rays, and those are what cause skin damage!

There are two types of UV rays – UVA and UVB. Most tanning beds emit mainly UVA rays, although some “high pressure” tanning beds emit a more concentrated mixture of the two. UV Radiation has harmful side effects such as  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 not worth dying for.

The FDA has banned the use of tanning booths by minors and strongly discourages people from using tanning beds for cosmetic purposes. There are 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! Many tanning booths limit your exposure to 20 minutes, but 20 minutes can be enough time to cause damage, especially when you go often.

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

Spray Tanning!!!

Airbrush tanning doesn’t create color using a dye or stain, it uses a compound called Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, which sounds like a crazy chemical name, but it’s actually an all-natural, organic, 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 by trained professionals using a special spraying device that will make sure there aren’t any missed spots or uneven tone. 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!

My friend is now a regular at Shine Salon where she can get a safe, beautiful tan without any risks of UV damage. Shine uses organic, vegan, cruelty-free formulas that you can feel good about and fit with your own healthy lifestyle.

What Creates A Tan?

tans

Ever wonder what makes your body tan?

There are a few different ways you can get a natural tan. The most obvious is, of course, from the sun! Light from the sun reaches earth in three forms: visible light, infrared, and ultraviolet light. The last type, ultraviolet light, is classified into three categories:
* UVA or black light, which causes tanning.
* UVB, which typically causes damage in the form of sunburn.
* UVC, which doesn’t affect us because it’s filtered out by the atmosphere before it can get to our skin.
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.

Airbrush Tanning: Fact and Fiction

1000w

There are a lot of rumors out there about airbrush tanning. Let’s set the record straight about some of the most common myths about spray tans!

  1. Spray tans make your skin look orange.  The fact is, airbrush tans are very hard to tell apart from natural sun tans. The solution sprayed onto the skin during an airbrush tan is NOT a dye or stain the way some tan-in-a-bottle sprays are that you can find at the local market. Professional airbrushing solutions use an organic compound called DHA which causes the very top layer of your skin to darken naturally. DHA is FDA approved and doesn’t carry the serious risks that tanning beds or laying in the sun can carry. Airbrush tanning technicians are professionally trained to know which solutions and how much are appropriate for each client based on their skin tone. They make sure that your color comes out looking natural and radiant, NOT orange!
  2. Spray tans wash off in the shower.  This simply isn’t true. You should avoid showers for several hours after you apply a spray tan because you need to let the solution thoroughly seep into your skin in order for it to work properly, but as mentioned above – an airbrush tan isn’t a dye or stain. It’s an actual natural reaction that causes the top layer of your skin to darken. We are constantly losing skin cells as they die and get sloughed off. When the layer of airbrushed skin is gone, the tan leaves with it, and that’s why an airbrush tan may only last 7-10 days. But it’s not because the color “washes off” with water in the shower. In fact, it’s recommended to keep your skin moisturized with lotion while you have an airbrush tan so that the skin cells don’t dry out, die, and flake off as quickly.
  3. Airbrush tanning is dangerous. There are some legitimate concerns when it comes to tanning. The sun and tanning beds both create a tan with UV rays that penetrate deep into your skin. These rays cause a tan, but they can also can cause many BAD things, such as wrinkles, sun spots, sun burns, and even skin cancer! For that reason, people are sometimes wary of tanning. But airbrush tanning doesn’t use UV rays. Airbrush tanning uses DHA to create a tan instead. If you don’t know what DHA is, you might think that sounds scary; like you’re spraying a bunch of chemicals on your skin. But DHA is organic and our solutions are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. It’s a natural compound that creates a natural reaction in the very outermost layer of your skin. It doesn’t affect the deeper layers of your skin, and doesn’t carry the risks that UV rays do. The FDA approves of using DHA on the skin and it hasn’t been shown to have any damaging effects.
  4. Airbrush tans won’t work with certain skin tones.  Not true! There are many different solutions that have been specifically designed for people’s unique skin tones. Everyone, from the most pale and freckled, to the darkest skin toned, can get an airbrush tan that looks natural and glowing. Airbrush tans even out and conceal skin tone blemishes for people of every color.
  5. Spray tans smell bad. When people first discovered how DHA works, they had trouble with the smell created by the amino acids in the skin reacting to the DHA. We’ve come a long way since then! We’ve improved the ingredients and technology used in creating our airbrush tanning solutions so that they smell GOOD rather than bad!

Now that you know a little bit more about airbrush tanning, you should feel more comfortable and confident to go ahead and try it for yourself!

bottom

How To Get a Natural Tan

20150254d648ce622e1

It’s summer. You’re not all bundled up anymore, you’re going to be showing some skin! You want that skin to look great when you do, right? Tans are ideal because they hide more flaws and look healthier than pale, pasty skin. But we all know there is a huge difference between being TAN and being ORANGE!  We’ve all seen someone who overdoes it on the self-toner and spends a few hours too many in the tanning bed and comes out looking like an orange leather handbag…  No one wants to look like that! You want a healthy, glowing, NATURAL tan. So how do you get one? Well…

Your skin gets tan because the sun produces UV rays that penetrate your skin. These UV rays are actually pretty dangerous. It’s like being in a giant microwave.  So to protect your cells from literally baking, your body produces melanin to absorb these rays safely. This is what makes your skin darker. But getting a natural tan from the sun is sometimes tricky. There is a fine line between tanning and burning. Try as you might to protect yourself, I’m sure there’s been a time or two when you’ve gotten a dreaded sunburn. It looks and feels terrible. Painful, itchy, peeling, bright red skin is a far cry from healthy, gorgeous, glowing tan skin! But that’s just one of the risks of tanning outdoors in the sun. Long term sun exposure can deeply damage the anatomy of your skin cells and cause wrinkles, sun spots, and even skin cancer.  Tanning beds produce UV rays as well, so it works in much the same way. It also carries the same risks.

You might think that’s the only way to get a natural tan, but it’s actually not!  Airbrush tanning is another natural way to tan. (I know… I’ll give you a minute to pick up the pieces of your blown mind…)  It’s not a paint or a dye that gets applied to the skin like most people think it is, which is why it won’t leave you looking orange the way most self-tanners do. Airbrush tanning actually uses a non-toxic, completely organic compound called DHA.  It doesn’t cause wrinkles, sun spots, or skin cancer the way the sun can because it doesn’t penetrate deeply enough to damage your skin cells. DHA creates a chemical reaction within the amino acids in the very outermost layer of your skin. It’s a little bit like when you cut an apple and it begins to turn brown on the surface. This reaction does not involve the underlying skin pigmentation, nor does it require exposure to UV rays to initiate the change in color. It’s a natural, temporary color that looks just like a tan that occurs from melanin. Airbrush tans typically last about 7-10 days if you exfoliate properly before your appointment. It’s FDA approved and less expensive than you probably think it is for such an amazing treatment.

So the next time you want a natural tan, try airbrushing!