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?

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Defeat the enemies of your airbrush tan!

Your brand new airbrush tan is so lovable, it’s hard to imagine it would have enemies, but it does. There are things that want to fade it into oblivion, but we’re here to give you the tools to fight for your tan!

The first thing you can do to protect your tan begins before your appointment! Be sure to shave and exfoliate your skin the night before your tan. You want to be sure that top layer of flaky dead skin that we all have is sloughed off to reveal the fresh skin underneath. There are plenty of products available to help you exfoliate, but beware of sugar scrubs or other scrubs on the market which have an oily base. That oil might feel great, but before an airbrush tan, it can coat the skin and make it hard for your tanning solution to permeate. You want to walk into your tanning appointment with clean, DRY skin. Don’t apply any lotions, perfumes, or sprays to your skin before you tan because it can block the tanning solution and you could end up with an uneven or weak tan.

The next enemy your tan will encounter is tight clothing. While airbrush tans dry fairly quickly and don’t stain the way some self-tanning lotions do, you still want to give your tanning solution time to soak into your skin evenly. Skip the skinny jeans and opt for loose clothes on the day of your appointment.

Once you’ve gotten your tan, stay clear of water. For the first 6-8 hours, water is your tan’s enemy. Swimming, showering, even sweating can wash off the solution before it has a chance to properly set. After those first few hours, water lightens up and your tan and water can be friends again. But don’t spend hours in the hot tub if you can help it. Chlorine will be still try to sabotage your tan in large quantities, too. Chlorine dries your skin out and can have a bleaching effect with prolonged contact. 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 pat yourself dry.

Dry skin is enemy number one. Once the tan skin on your body starts dying and flaking off, it takes your tan with it. Keep your skin moisturized, but avoid over-saturating it. Opt for a light moisturizer over a thick body butter, and use it whenever you start feeling dried out.

With these tips, you’ll be a super hero to your tan!

Airbrush Tanning Vs. Self Tanners

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It’s too cold to get a natural tan outdoors, and you’ve heard all about the dangers of tanning beds, so your options are limited if you want to get a great tan during winter.

You can:

A.) Go somewhere tropical (take us with you!)

B.) Use a self-tanning product

C.) Get an airbrush tan

 

Self-tanners come in many forms. There are plenty of sprays and lotions that you can choose from and they range in price from a few dollars at your local pharmacy to hundreds of dollars at a fancy salon. The ingredients vary from product to product. Many of them use dyes to stain your skin. Unless you’re very familiar with the product and how it looks on your particular 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 careful applying your self-tanners. If you miss a spot, your tan will look patchy. 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 some areas that you don’t want to be as dark as the rest of your skin, too – such as the back of your knees or palms of your hands. It looks unnatural and stands out as a fake tan, when the goal is to have a tan that looks natural! Certain self tanning products can also stain your clothes or furniture, so you’ll have to be cautious around fabrics.

Getting an airbrush tan eliminates many of these concerns, however!

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 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.

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!

All of this is much less expensive than you think, too! Check our website for prices and specials. Make your appointment and start looking and feeling amazing with an airbrush tan from Shine!

All About Sunburn

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The sun produces UV radiation. Too much exposure can cause a form of radiation burn that we all know as a sunburn. I’m sure you’re familiar with the red skin, blisters, peeling, pain, even fatigue and dizziness that can come along with sunburns. It’s no fun at all! After the UV exposure, skin may turn red in as little as 30 minutes but it most often takes around 2 to 6 hours for the visible burn to develop. Pain is usually most severe between 6 and 48 hours after the initial exposure. The burn continues to develop for 24 to 72 hours, occasionally followed by peeling skin in 3 to 8 days. In some cases, peeling and itching may continue for several weeks. Severe sunburns can even require hospitalization!

The cause of sunburn is the direct damage that a UV-B photon can induce in DNA. When the skin cells’ DNA is damaged by UV radiation, Type I cell-death is triggered and the skin is replaced. Malignant melanoma may occur as a result of indirect DNA damage if the damage is not properly repaired. Excessive UV radiation is the leading cause of primarily non-malignant skin tumors.

To avoid sunburn, limit your exposure to the sun. Simple enough, right? Tanning beds also produce UV rays, so they should also be avoided in order to reduce your risks of skin damage. When you’re outside, wearing hats and clothes that cover your skin will help shield you from the sun. Sunscreen applied to exposed skin also helps reduce your risk of burning.

If you do happen to burn, there’s no “cure” but there are things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms until the burn heals. Use cool, wet clothes or take cool showers to help bring your body temperature down. Apply soothing lotions that contain aloe vera to sunburned areas to soothe the skin. Topical steroids (such as 1% hydrocortisone cream) may also help with pain and swelling.   Note: Do not use the cream on children younger than age 2 unless your doctor tells you to. Oatmeal and chamomile are sometimes recommended to help with the itching and peeling.

But what about tanning? You want that sun-kissed color, but you don’t want to put yourself at risk! What are you supposed to do?! Well, that’s where airbrush tanning comes in. You can get the color without the sun! It’s not a stain, you won’t turn orange – it’s a natural, organic compound that produces color in the top layer of your skin but doesn’t damage the deeper layers the way UV rays from the sun or tanning beds can!