The Healthy Way to Tan

Before you suit up to bask in the sun, we have a few things you should think about.

woman in sun beachI love the sun. I feel better and a little prettier when I have a little color. I don’t even mind going without makeup when my skin is tan and my cheeks are a little pink.

My husband is Indian so my children have the exact complexion I always wished that I had; they are beautifully tan year round. Rationally, I know the sun is bad for you except for the burst of vitamin d that it provides. I know that every time I am in the sun, I am increasing my chances of skin cancer. But I love the way it feels to sit baking in its rays. And I did a lot of that when I was younger. The best thing that I can do for my skin at this point is to cover up.

Many of us sun-lovers don’t always take skin cancer as seriously as we should. Cancer of the skin is by far the most common of all cancers. Although Melanoma accounts for only about 1% of skin cancers, it causes a majority of skin cancer deaths. In fact, melanoma is one of the most common cancers in people younger than 30 (especially younger women). I was surprised to learn that even with high spf in sunscreen, the rates of melanoma have been rising for the last 30 years.

So, recently, when I was going to a family wedding–which was, by the way, with my tanner family members, I was craving that sun-kissed glow! So I treated myself to a spray tan. Afterwards, I realized that this was the answer to curbing my temptation to bake in the sun all summer long; arrive at the beach or pool…already tan! So I set up a series of spray-tanning appointments.

SjolieChristine Sawma of Shimmer N Glow suggest setting up tanning appointments every 10-14 days to maintain your tan throughout the summer. “In between tanning sessions, I recommend a touch up spray to touch up my cleints’ faces. The face is prone to more exfoliation, wind, weather so color on your face tends to fade a little faster.”  (We love Sjolie in the “Crisp and Lush” scent–it’s almost the same strength as the professionals use.)

If this is your first time, you should know that getting a spray tan is a pretty intimate experience. I you feel more comfortable having it done in your home, a mobile service is the way to go. Besides being more comfortable, it’s incredibly convenient. I know the first time I had a spray tan, I had 3 little ones under the age of 6. I loved not having to pay a sitter on top of treating myself to a tan!

5 facts that might convince you to stay covered:
1. Skin cancer removal can result in long term scars that are not easy to cover up. Skin cancer comes in all forms, even subtle skin discoloration.

2. Who Wants wrinkles!?  Even if you just get a face spray tan or use a self-tanning spray, you’re saving yourself from aging too fast.

3. You can still get sun damage even when it’s not sunny.  How many times have you gotten sun burned on a cloudy day?

4. About 76,380 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 46,870 in men and 29,510 in women).

5. About 10,130 people are expected to die of melanoma this year.

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."


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