Beauty Buzz: Tanning Time

May 31st, 2006 // 5 Comments

The essential summer accessory has long been a nice maple brown sugar tan! This year is no exception especially with all the ways to attain that great golden tan for the summer. There are spray on tans, tanning beds and the sun itself to obtain the look that southern California has all year long. Since the 1920′s when Coco Chanel was spotted with best sun kissed tan you had ever seen from a cruise she took, having a nice glow to your skin became an instant must have. Unfortunately the UV rays from the sun speeds up the aging process and is a contributing factor to skin damage. Which leaves us all pondering the question: Do I tan or not? According to the answer is yes and you can do it safely! The key is knowing how much sun is too much sun and what the right SPF is for you.

UVA and UVB rays damage the DNA of our cells causing them to not function properly. UVA rays are the rays that you are exposed to at the tanning salon, and this the damage that happens below the skin surface. UVB rays are what we are exposed to which is the light that causes burning. SPF 15 is great for daily sun protection, however the paler your skin the more SPF you will need because their skin has such little defense. Clinique has a wonderful UV response with SPF 50 and they also make a facial version. Lying out for small amounts of time will allow you gradually build up to being able to be out longer and wearing sunscreen each time helps as well. Of course the fake tan is the best way to tan and it has come a long way from its days of orange color and streakiness. The products out now are also less messy and less time consuming. St. Tropez, Lancome, Johnson and Johnson and Estee Lauder have wonderful products on the market for the spray on tan. See what the best defense for your skin is and happy tanning! No one wants to look like Magda from the movie ‘There’s something about Mary’!

Written by Christy Pastore

By Miu von Furstenberg

  1. kkeenan2

    One of the larger myths out there is that the higher the SPF the higher the protection. Yes I said MYTH.

    I bought into that one for a while as I am pale skinned (half Irish and half Spanish- no sun and I look Irish toned, sun and I look Spanish toned), but grew up in Arizona as a swim team kind and worked as a professional lifeguard in AZ and CA.

    To debunk the myth: Fact stands that anything over 30 SPF does not provide any better protection than SPF 30. And anything over SPF 45 is just a rip off of your money. Especially as SPF is a factor of upping your natural protections by X number (in reference to a time frame), anything over 45 and it is time to reapply anyways!

    One of the best options, that the professionals use, is to buy the NO AD sunscreen from the grocery store (as in no advertising). Sure it isn’t as posh as having a Clarins bottle by your side; but it is cheaper, works JUST AS WELL and is a better product over all.

    PS… most dermatologists don’t want to tell you but it is true for the pale girls like me (only golden when in the sun and not much sun where I am living now and working in an office). It is better to tan yourself (ALWAYS use sunscreen on your face) with tanning beds slightly to get a base tan- than to get a bad burn when you arent paying attention because you have been sun deprived. The burn will do more damage either way, though most skin cancer damage is done when you were a child and didn’t think or know better.

  2. Dr. J

    The above comments are erroneous. I am a board-certified dermatologist, and I would like to correct some of the misconceptions in the previous post.
    The higher the SPF, the greater the degree of UV blockage. Period. Granted, lotions of SPF 30 block the vast majority of UV rays, so an SPF of 45 is only somewhat better. Nonetheless, higher numbers equal greater protection. Also, the FDA tests sunscreens with liberal application amounts (much more lotion than most consumers use). If you use only half of the FDA tested amount on your skin, a lotion with a labelled SPF of 30 becomes a lotion with an effective SPF of 5-10. Therefore, you should select a sunscreen with a high SPF in case you don’t use the suggested amount (VERY few consumers do).
    I do agree that you shouldn’t waste your money on “name brand” sunscreens. The generics will typically work just as well.
    Finally, all tans are skin damaging, whether they come from the sun or a tanning bed isn’t much of a concern. Protect your skin, and don’t believe every rant you read on the internet.

    Dr. J

  3. journo

    Have to say I agree with the “dermatologist” (is he/she or isn’t he/she)?

    I can say that I work in dermatology research at Johns Hopkins and tanning, be it in a bed or gradually in the sun IS skin damage–you brown because your skin cells react to the sun. Gradual tanning or “sunscreen resistance” like this article suggests is baseless information. Tan IS damage, and I’ve seen way too many leathery ladies in their thirties and forties to believe it is anything but.

  4. Dr Gino

    Let’s not all forget the benefits of being in the sun. Yes, I said benefits! Did you know that moderate sun exposure causes the body to produce Vitamin D? In fact, this is the only way the body produces this healthy nutrient. So for all of you who want to stay inside and avoid the rays, just remember Vitamin D milk tastes horrid, and a little sun will keep you from having to endure such nastiness!

  5. Small Fry

    Wow, who knew so many medical experts visited gossip blogs? Well, gotta run, I’m gonna go slather myself in baby oil and lay out in the sun.

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