Winter is behind us, and people are eager to hit the beaches, parks, and other outside gathering spots and bask in the sun. After months of bundling up, many people see now is a good time to put a little color back in their skin before summer.
Unfortunately, the desire for a tan also means this is a time when the chances of skin cancer increase significantly. And indoor tanning isn’t the answer; the risk of skin conditions including cancer increase with that method.
If you want to spend time in direct sunlight for extended periods, you need sun protection. And if you want your skin a darker shade, a spray tan is a safer choice for your health.
If you’re considering alternatives to traditional tanning methods, Dr. Javier Zelaya and his skilled medical team at Skinworks Dermatology, with three New York City locations, can help.
How spray tans work
Letting the sun determine the shade of your skin can be a damaging process of trial and error. Spray tans, however, use a solution that gives you the skin tone you want.
This process involves a chemical known as dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a colorless sugar compound that chemically reacts with your skin to give it a darker color. DHA interacts with your skin in a way to keep it from being rubbed or washed off.
Advantages of a spray tan over sunbathing
We need the sun for many things, including a natural way to absorb vitamin D. But so much time in the sun that your skin turns darker is a type of damage. So know that when you bask in the sun to tan, you’re hurting your skin to achieve that look.
A healthy tan doesn’t exist. The question is whether you’ve damaged your skin to the point of risking cancers like squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, or melanoma. Tanning beds accelerate the process by exposing you to higher concentrations of ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Spray tans avoid the UV damage caused by overexposure to sunlight, and they allow you to get a darker tone at any time of the year without the risk of natural tanning.
At Skinworks Dermatology, we offer this tanning solution using healthy, high-quality ingredients to give your skin the tone you want.
The spray tanning process
To prepare for a spray tan, do the following:
- Exfoliate your skin at least three days before (avoid chemicals and oil-based products)
- Shower at least eight hours before the treatment
- Wear loose-fitting clothing to your appointment
- Remove any makeup or deodorant
Once you’re ready, we spray a fine mist of the solution over the desired areas. When we’re finished, be wary of visible panty lines within the first few days (paper panties are sometimes offered to avoid this).
After your treatment, wear loose-fitting clothing and shoes, wait at least six hours before showering, and use lukewarm water when you do. Avoid soaps or scrubs when you first shower.
Avoid oil-based skin products until the tan has faded, and lightly exfoliate your skin every few days to keep your skin fresh.
If you want a tan this summer without the dangers, make an appointment by phone or online today at one of our Skinworks Dermatology offices in Maspeth, Chelsea, or Park Slope.