Blog · Get Well

Tanning: Beds vs. Sprays
Sadly, getting a natural tan in Syracuse is not always possible. Instead, many of us turn to forms of artificial tanning like tanning beds or spray tans to keep our summer glow. Which one’s healthier?

Lets begin with the negative effects of tanning beds. If you’ve ever entered a tanning bed, you know that your skin normally tans and doesn’t burn. That’s because these beds don’t contain UVB rays, the rays emitted by the sun that cause skin to burn. So then isn’t it healthy? No. Research has found that bed tanning is much more harmful for your skin than the natural sun because the tanning bulb emits mainly UVA rays, which penetrate deep into your skin and cause much greater damage. Also, tanning beds emit three times the amount of UVA that the sun does. These UVA rays have been proven to cause malignant melanoma and other forms of skin cancer, weakening of the skin’s deep tissues, and damage to your immune system. Studies have shown that if you use a tanning bed more than 10 times a year, your risk of getting skin cancer increases by 800%!

On the other hand, spray tanning contains decoshexionic acid, or DHA, a chemical that causes a browning effect over time when sprayed on the body. It may cause a minor short-term skin effect known as contact dermatitis, an irritating drying of the skin, which can be alleviated with antiseptic balm or eczema cream. Another con is its short duration; spray tanning only leaves you with a tan for up to seven days. To prevent the uneven tan that sprays can give, it is recommended to exfoliate and moisturize first.

The bottom line: If you want to avoid looking like Casper during the long Syracuse winter while still keeping your skin healthy, spray tanning’s your best option.

By Aisling Williams