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Smart Sun Tanning
If you are heading for the beach don't forget to have some sun block. According to scientific research, such a thing as a "healthy tan" does not exist. Tanning is, in essence, the skin's reaction to damage already done, and a defensive attempt to protect itself from further harm. The Ultraviolet rays are the most threatening component of a natural suntan. Two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB, negatively affect the skin by deeply penetrating our skin and potentially damage gene composition. UVA rays tend to cause skin cancer after prolonged periods of time. Sunburn and the redness associated with sun exposure result from UVB rays, which are also a strong risk factor for skin cancer. Personal tanning methods available today attempt to eliminate the UV rays from coming in contact with the skin.

Salon Options :
Popularity of tanning beds tends to soar as teens strive for the prom-perfect hue and women of all ages aim to avoid the pasty white complexions they suffered long enough through the winter. Though they are thought to be only slightly more protective than getting a natural tan due to the controlled environment, risks are still associated with tanning beds as the exposure to UV rays is still present.

Natural Tanning Options :
For natural tanning, consider using sunscreen with a low SPF. This will still allow tanning, but the skin will receive at least a small degree of protection from the powerful rays. Be especially cautious when in or on the water, as the sun may badly burn the skin without any warning signs.
Some individuals should exercise extreme caution when exposed to the sun, including those with very fair skin, those who burn often or tan poorly, those who have many freckles or moles, and those who have a history of skin cancer themselves or in the family history.

Sunless Self-Tanning Options :
Self-tanning products have taken leaps and bounds in technology-far beyond the "orange tone" so many worry about experiencing. Self-tanning products come in several forms-lotions, gels, wipes, sprays, and now, even a pill! The pill stimulates the pigment to change without any exposure to the sun, which is actually thought to be a positive preventive alternative to harmful sun exposure.
For those who still enjoy the trip to the salon but don't feel the need to visit a tanning bed, a new tanning-spray treatment is available at some salons. It is quick, about a 30 second application with instant results. All of these tanning options involve the active ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA.), which is responsible for the change in skin tone. Many of the products available also contain moisturizers and vitamins to help the skin remain healthy and soft while not exposing the body to any UV rays.
No matter which tanning option you use, if you simply must have that glowing tan, use caution when you bask in the rays at the shore or wherever.

Keep these important points in mind whenever you are exposed to the sun for a significant duration of time :
* Do your best to avoid falling asleep while tanning.
* Always try a very low SPF level sunscreen as low as SPF 15, which will do more good for your skin than bare exposure!
* When you do experience sunburn, keep aloe and cocoa butter on hand. Aloe is known to soothe the skin, while cocoa butter helps in keeping skin soft and smooth while also repairing it and preventing peeling after sun damage.



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