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Sunless Tanning

With more and more research being published regarding the damaging effects of UV rays from the sun and with not everyone being able to take a trip to the Bahamas, fake tan products are becoming increasingly more popular. With technological advances in the range and effects of products available, why not take the plunge and go bronze? Below we have outlined some of the most popular sunless tanning solutions available at your local salon and in your own home.

Sun Beds

Sun beds have been available for some time in various forms at many salons, leisure centres and health spas.

Traditional, horizontal sun beds are contoured so that an even tan can be achieved on all sides of your body. Horizontal sun beds usually have an overhead canopy which means that you don't need to turn over to receive the full effect, effectively reducing the length of the session.

Many salons now opt for a vertical design of sun bed. In the vertical sun bed, the client stands up and is surrounded by a small enclosure which emits rays. The benefit of this treatment is that the client doesn't come into contact with any of the heat emitting surfaces, reducing perspiration. Due to this non contact approach to tanning, vertical sun beds are generally regarded as being more hygienic.

Some sun beds will emit UVA rays which expand the pigment of the skin resulting in a short lasting tan. A more lasting effect can be achieved from beds emitting UVB rays which increase the production of pigment in the skin as opposed to expanding the existing pigment. In excess, UVB rays can cause damage to the skin. To tackle this issue, some beds emit mainly UVA rays and a small supplement of UVB rays. The benefit of this treatment is that a better effect can be gained in shorter sessions.

Spray Tan

Spray tan is another option that is starting to become common place in many salons. Spray tanning is a short process that will provide instant results. Many people choose spray tanning over application of products at home as the spray effect can reach difficult areas such as the back of your arms.

Clients will usually stand in a booth and be sprayed with jets of the solution which takes minutes to dry. As the booth is designed to spray the product over the entire body, clients are usually provided with a shower cap to cover the hair as well as eye protection and are advised to avoid any inhalation of the spray. After application, any excess solution can easily be rubbed off with a towel, ensuring an even tan is achieved. Barrier cream is provided to stop problem areas such as elbows, kneecaps and the soles of your feet from appearing uneven. This is as dry skin tends to absorb more of the solution and can appear too dark, offsetting your tan.

A visible result can be achieved after your first session, with results usually lasting up to a week. It is recommended that further sessions should be booked for noticeable results and to maintain the tan achieved.

Sunless Tanning at Home

In addition to salon treatments available, many people prefer to use products in their own home. The range of products can vary widely in price and efficiency, so choose carefully before splashing out. To help you choose the right product we have provided a summary of tried and tested solutions.

Bronzer is a temporary solution to acquiring a tan, ideal for a wedding or special occasion. Bronzer usually comes in small balls which can be crushed into powder and brushed onto the surface of the skin, in a similar way to blusher. Bronzer is available in different tones meaning you can create an effect closer to your natural skin tone.

Liquid Tan, or Wash Off Tan, is a simple solution, practical for achieving a short term tan. Simply pour the solution from the bottle and rub it into your skin. When you next wash the tanned areas the product will literally wash off. While this product is easy to apply it does not instantly provide a natural effect, when compared to other methods. For best results, choose a light hued solution and gradually build up layers, developing the tone.

Self Tan is another popular choice, available as creams, body sprays and foams. Self tan is available in a variety of colours and it is recommended to experiment a little at first to find the correct tone. After initial application, self tan will form a visible tan which will last for up to a week later. For best results, try applying a further layer of self tan a few hours after the first. As the solution is colourless, take care not to apply to much and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards to avoid the appearance of overly tanned hands.