Mens Skin Care Healthy Skin Tanning

You might feel more confident and happier when you’re tan- but as you probably know, being overexposed to UVA and UVB rays is dangerous and can even have fatal implications.

Guys, you don’t need to fry your skin to look tan. Sunless tanning products are becoming increasingly popular- particularly for men- and, despite what you may think, they don’t need to leave you orange and streaky. In fact, tinted body lotion is a great option for guys that want to look tan and keep their skin looking young, since excessive sun exposure has been known to cause wrinkles.

How Safe is the Tanning Salon?

Tanning salons aren’t any safer (and actually may be more harmful) than tanning in the sun. A tanning bed exposes your skin to harmful UV rays, just as the sun does. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, using a tanning bed even only “occasionally” can increase your melanoma risk by up to 300 percent.

Most medical professionals strongly advise against use of tanning beds for this reason. Additionally, tanning regularly can cause premature aging of the skin and increase the appearance of wrinkles.

Sunless Tanning Options for Men

You may have heard of self-tanner, sunless tanning lotion or tinted body lotion. These products are a safe way to get a glowing, natural-looking tan without exposing your skin to harmful UV rays.

Most sunless tanning products have dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, as their active ingredient. DHA–which has been approved for safety by the FDA–reacts with the dead cells in your skin to temporarily darken the skin. The tan coloring will slowly fade as the dead skin cells come off.

Most sunless tanning products can give you a tan for about a week, and you have to apply them regularly. Here are some tips for using a sunless tanning product:

  • Give it enough time: If it goes on clear, most sunless tanning products won’t show full results for about 8 to 24 hours.
  • Keep it on your skin: Don’t inhale or ingest any spray-on or sunless tanning product.
  • Consider a spray tan for immediate results: Some professional salons and spas are starting to offer spray-on tanning. Spray-on tanning usually gives you a more even and full body tan than a lotion. Spray-on tanning can also reach areas you can’t reach yourself, like your back.
  • Wait to dress: You won’t want the product to stain your clothes, so wait until it’s dry to dress.
  • Wash and exfoliate: Before you use a sunless tanning product, wash and exfoliate your skin to remove the top layer of dead skin cells. Pay special attention to your elbows and knees, which tend to house more dead skin cells than the rest of your body. This will help you get a more even tone and longer-lasting tan.
  • Wash your hands well: After applying the sunless tanning product, wash your hands with soap and water to avoid blotches or streaks on your hands.

You don’t have to do without a glowing tan. The many sunless tanning options on the market make it possible to be tan and keep your skin safe from UV rays. In fact, for best results, use a sunless tanning lotion or tinted moisturizer with blended-in SPF, which will keep you looking tan and protect you from the sun–the best of both worlds!

Resources

DermNet Staff. (2009). Dihydroxyacetone, tanning cream, sunless tanning. Retrieved March 16, 2010, from the DermNet Web site: http://www.dermnet.org.nz/treatments/dihydroxyacetone.html.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2009). Sunless tanning. Retrieved January 11, 2009, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sunless-tanning/SN00037.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2009). Tanning. Retrieved January 11, 2009, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tanning/HQ0148.