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Fun without the sun

15th April 2012  : 

Looking back at images from the 1970s, where women in minute bikinis scorched themselves in the searing heat, using nothing more than oil to crisp up their colour, it's hard not to grimace. Yes, they may have a deep, golden hue but as well know now; they were risking catastrophic sun damage.

UV damage from sun exposure is responsible for the majority of skin cancers. As well as the inherent health risks, too much sun can also cause and exacerbate a range of skin conditions. Sun spots, fine lines and deep wrinkles are all more common among sun worshippers than those who know to keep cool in the shade.

It is important to remember that UV is not just present in sun rays. Turning away from a sun lounger and moving to a UV tanning bed is just as bad for you. Premature ageing and uneven skin pigmentation are just two of the skin conditions regular tanning bed users are susceptible to.

You might be desperate to get a golden glow, but if you want healthy skin, limiting your UV exposure should be your top priority. There are a whole range of self-tanning products that will give you a pop of added radiance, without putting your complexion or your health at risk.

When selecting the right self tan for your needs, remember that it is not just about getting the darkest colour. You want to look sun kissed, not varnished. Always select a shade that will tone in with your hair and natural complexion.

Next, exfoliation is a key. If you fail to properly smooth your skin, you risk tanning products bonding to dry or rough patches, giving you're a darker, uneven result.

Finally, while at-home tanners are a lot better than they used to be, a professional spray tan will leave you with the best results.

So, if you want a sun-kissed glow without the risks, speak to a specialist consultant about the self tanning method that is right for you.

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