Who doesn't love that sun-kissed, golden brown glow of tanned skin? While basking in the sun can give you color, it also comes with risks like sun damage, wrinkles, and skin cancer.
For a safer alternative, artificial tanning offers ways to bronze your skin without harmful UV exposure. Let's explore some popular options to get glowing.
Spray tanning, also called sunless tanning, is an easy way to achieve tanned skin fast. A solution containing the active ingredient DHA is sprayed on the body at salons or with at-home kits. DHA reacts with dead skin cells to temporarily darken the skin's appearance.
- No UV exposure, so it doesn't damage skin like the sun
- Quick and convenient – color develops in just a few hours
- Customizable coverage and even application
- Available in different shades from light bronze to deep tan
- Lasts 5-10 days typically
Spray tans do have some drawbacks though. They can fade unevenly, leave an orange cast, or stain pale palms and soles. Exfoliating before tanning helps even out the color.
Tanning Lotions and Creams
Self-tanning lotions allow you to gradually build color at home. They are applied just like regular body lotion - smooth on daily until desired tan is reached. Formulas contain DHA that react with amino acids on the outer skin layer to darken it.
- Gradual color development for a more natural looking tan
- Easy to do at home and low maintenance
- No tanning bed needed – just apply and let it develop
- Uniform, streak-free color when applied properly
- Available in different shades from light to ultra-dark
It may take a week or more to reach your ideal tan level. Be sure to exfoliate regularly and moisturize to keep the tan lasting longer.
Tanning Pills and Supplements
Oral supplements containing amino acids and nutrients like carotenoids aim to enhance melanin production in the skin for tanning without sun. Two popular options are melanotan peptides and carotenoid blends.
- Provides skin-enhancing nutrients like antioxidants
- May increase melanin and naturally boost tanning response
- Easy to take as a daily pill or liquid drop
- Safe alternative to UV tanning methods
- No sunburn risk since they don't increase sun sensitivity
Research on their effectiveness is limited so far. Results seem variable from person to person. They work best combined with some UV exposure. Don't expect a major color change, but they may provide a bit of a tanning boost.
Tanning beds emit concentrated UV rays that deeply tan the skin in just a few quick sessions. They allow controlled tanning indoors year-round. Beds use UVA and sometimes UVB light tubes to stimulate melanin production.
- Quickly achieve dark tan coloring
- Available year-round at indoor salons
- Can control duration and amount of exposure
- Regulate vitamin D production
However, research overwhelmingly shows tanning beds increase skin cancer risk, especially with frequent use. Damage is cumulative, so they are best avoided. If used minimally, take precautions like goggles and sunscreen. You can buy peptides online as well.
Sunless Tanning Injections
A newer method involves getting DHA injected into the skin for instant, longer-lasting color. It's applied with a thin needle into the top dermal layer. Results appear within 1-3 days and last about 2 weeks.
- Virtually immediate, even tan with one session
- Longer lasting than sprays – up to 2-3 weeks
- Single application avoids daily routine of lotions
- Deeper injection prevents uneven fading
- Little risk for orange tones or streaking
Downsides include higher cost and the injectable procedure. Some temporary bruising or irritation can occur at injection sites. Overall, it provides the most rapid, hassle-free sunless tan.
Choosing the Right Method for You
With all these artificial tanning options available, how do you choose? Consider your skin type, desired intensity, and convenience:
- Very fair skin – Gradual self-tanners allow you to build color slowly. Peptides and pills also gently enhance your tan response.
- Seeking a quick glow – Spray tans and injections provide fast, head-to-toe color in one session.
- Desire a deeper, darker tan – Try medium-dark or dark spray tans, tanning creams, or melanotan pills.
- Want low-maintenance – Self-tanning lotions require little upkeep once applied. Pills also provide easy tanning boosters.
- Have sensitive skin – Look for organic, hypoallergenic formulations. Do a patch test first.
Get your glow on safely with any of these artificial tanning methods. DHA-based techniques provide convincing, customizable color without UV damage. Just exfoliate to blend and maintain the tan. With so many options for achieving sun-kissed skin, you can skip risky sunbathing.