There’s something vital for many people in ensuring that they come back from their summer holidays looking tanned and relaxed, otherwise people might not think they had gone anywhere. It’s almost as though getting a tan is proof that you have travelled somewhere nice and sunny.
However, just by visiting a hot destination for a summer, or even winter break, is no guarantee that you are going to go all gold and brown. Some people burn to a crisp the moment they step out in the sun, while others are more concerned about visiting interesting places enjoying the sights rather than simply lying on their backs on the beach or hotel swimming pool soaking up the sun’s rays.
Why do we tan?
It’s important to note that tanning is actually the body’s natural protection against exposure to damaging UV rays from the sun, which can cause serious damage to the skin, starting with sunburn and potentially skin cancer due to exposure of ultraviolet radiation over long periods of time.
Some people will tan more easily than others, and this is due to the levels of melanin that they have in their skin. Darker skinned individuals have more melanin, which leads them to tan easier. The melanin, which is the brown pigment containing melanocytes, starts to spread out through the skin being exposed to the sun in order to protect it.
Why do some people want a tanned look?
Looking tanned is something that is of utmost importance for many people. Others don’t really care whether they are able to achieve a sun tan or not, and probably have more important things going on in their lives to worry about the tone of their skin.
However, for many it is important, and not just when returning back from a holiday. There are a number of people who believe that a darker complexion is simply better looking than a pale one.
Of course, this is all personal preference, and there are a number of very pale individuals who are more than happy with the way they look and their whiter than white complexions. Whatever your preference, there are a number of places such as Thirsty for Tan who can help achieve the tan you desire.
Darker or lighter preferences
Social media is partly responsible for promoting the view that sun kissed bodies are much more desirable than pale skin, and for pushing the idea that if you want to look attractive, you need to be tanned.
Many people want to keep their tanned look throughout the year, and the only realistic way that they are going to be able to achieve this is through visiting their local tanning salons, or through the use of makeup and other cosmetics that can give the skin a glowing golden appearance.
Not everyone is going to be able to afford monthly holidays to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, the Greek islands or other beautiful parts of the world which are blessed with sunshine throughout the year.
The risks of tanning
There are a number of risks when it comes to tanning, with many of them causing damage to the skin and your overall appearance and health. The most serious condition from tanning is the potential of skin cancer. Too much exposure to the sun over a long period of time, can increase the risk of serious skin conditions, with cancer being the worst.
The sun damages the skin and can cause premature aging. It can make the skin very saggy and wrinkled, leaving someone who is 40 years old to actually look like they are 80. There is also the possibility of causing damage to the eyes from too much sun exposure, with cataracts being one of the most common.
It is advised that you should always wear sunscreen if you are out in the sun, even for very short periods. If you don’t wear sunscreen, then you need to make sure that you are only outside for as long as your skin can create the melanin which will help to protect it.
The maximum period is between 2 to 3 hours, after which your skin is not going to get any darker for the rest of the day. So if you think you are going to get a better tan by lying on the beach in the sun for 10 hours rather than for 2, then you are very much mistaken, and will only be doing yourself serious harm.
With more and more dangers being exposed about too much sunlight on our skin, people are starting to turn to alternative ways to get their sun tans. One of the most popular, and safest options are through self-tanning products. These are much safer than exposing your skin to hours of UV rays each day, and are actually a quicker way as well.
Spray tanning is one very effective form of self tanning, and is achieved through having a very delicate mist sprayed over your body. You can choose to spray just certain parts of your body such as your face and neck and arms, or can go for the full body option if you are someone who is keen for an all-over tan.
There are also a wide range of tanning creams and lotions that you can apply to your body. These are probably the most popular option as they are something that can easily be done at home, whereas the spray tanning option needs a little more space.
Some tanning creams are developed specifically for the face and neck areas, while others can be used on other parts of the body such as your legs and arms. There are lots of different choices when it comes to self tanning creams so you might need to spend a little time trying out some of the different options and seeing which ones give you the best results.
Some final thoughts
Though nothing can beat achieving a tan naturally from the sun, there are too many dangers associated with it to make it something that you should be doing on a regular basis. If you are travelling somewhere sunny and warm for a holiday then it’s perfectly natural that you want to lie back and soak up the rays, as it’s obviously not something you can do at home.
But for a long term tan, it’s much better to look at the self-tanning options, rather than risk seriously damaging your skin and health. There aren’t too many things in life that are more important than good health, and being tanned certainly isn’t one of them.