How To Get A Tan And Protect Your Skin Against Premature Aging

Over the years tanning still remains popular activity that people like to engage in to improve their appearance and to raise their self esteem. Even though tanning can make a person look more appealing, it can also create a lot of problems for their health. People who tan on a regular basis while in their youth tend to get some form of skin cancer later in life. Other issues with tanning include sunburn and premature aging. Aging prematurely can happen to people who constantly expose themselves to the sun but there are some ways that people can effectively tan their skin without having to deal with this unwanted side effect. Here is some information about how to get a tan and protect your skin against premature aging. beauty

Understanding the Tanning Process

When a person tans their skin in the sun they are exposing themselves to various types of UV rays. There are three different types of UV rays and they include UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. UV-A and UV-B rays are responsible for tanning a person’s skin and UV-C is a dangerous form of solar energy that causes cancer and other skin problems. As the sun strikes a person’s skin the UV-B rays began to stimulate the melanin pigments within a person’s cells. The melanin pigments then began to react within the upper layer of the skin which is called the epidermis. The UV-A rays simultaneously darken the melanin which in turn gives a person a tanned appearance. The tanning process does not stimulate large scale melanin production. Also, when a person tans their body it is actually creating more melanin as a defense mechanism against the harmful effects of sunlight. Keep in mind that UV-A rays is known both to cause DNA damage and it’s also carcinogenic. UV-A rays also cause DNA damage indirectly by producing reactive oxygen species. UV-B rays are responsible for producing vitamin D in the skin and for causing sunburn and the production of melanin. Both UV-A and UV-B rays causes a person’s skin to prematurely age. Too much exposure to UV-A and UV-B rays will typically cause a person to develop skin cancer, mutate their DNA, impair their immune system and cause their skin to wrinkle faster.  

Premature Aging and Tanning

Believe it or not sunlight contributes significantly to the aging process. Many health professionals and dermatologists believe that an adult’s skin would look the same as it did in their youth if it were not for UV exposure. Being exposed to UV light over the long run does cause a person to look older. This is one reason as to why health professionals and dermatologists encourage people not to over tan their skin. Photoaging is the name given to the aging process which results from the sun. The photo aging process begins in a person’s youth. When a child is young they are encouraged to go outside and play and while they are being exposed to the sun the UV rays are actually causing damage to their skin. As a person enters their mid twenties the aging process increases significantly. People have been known to develop wrinkles, freckles, spider veins and other forms of skin damage because of photoaging. All of this sun exposure will definitely cause a person’s dermis to mature a lot faster than what it is supposed to. Since people cannot completely avoid the sun the best thing that they can do is to minimize its impact.Reducing the Impact of the Sun People can reduce the impact of the sun by following these specific guidelines. Their first line of defense should be to limit their exposure. This means that if they decide to get a tan in the sunlight they should only do so for a very short amount of time. People should spend time according to the tone of their skin. Fair or light skinned people should not tan their skin for more than 30 minutes and darker skinned people should limit themselves up to 50 minute tanning sessions. The next thing that people can do to reduce the effects of the sun is to wear sunscreen. Many people do not wear this product because they consider it to be messy or insignificant. However, wearing sunscreen will reduce a damage that is caused by sunlight. A person’s sunscreen should block both UV-A and UV-B rays. Dermatologists also recommend using a hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic solution so that it does not irritate a person’s skin or clog their pours. People should also reapply sunscreen while they are out in the sunlight. Keep in mind that sweating and sunlight will also cause sunscreen to wear off of a person’s body. Protective clothing such as hats and classes will protect a person’s face and eyes from the harmful effects of the sun. Most people might not realize that sunlight causes cataracts on a person’s eyes. Again, this happens over a period of time. Protective clothing will help to reduce the aging process and to keep a person looking younger for many years to come. Tanners should also avoid using certain medications such as antibiotics and birth control pills when they darken their skin. These types of medications can cause a person to become more sensitive to the sun. The same is true of tanning accelerators and pills.

Sunless Tanning Methods

Sunless tanning methods are a great way for a person’s skin to remain free from the effects of UV ray exposure. There a quite a few different sunless tanning methods and they include tanning beds and booths, tanning lotions, airbrushing, mists and tanning pills. Tanning beds and booths and pills are the most dangerous forms of sunless tanning because of the risks associated with these practices. Tanning beds and booths uses equipment which produces artificial UV ray light. People can actually develop skin cancer or prematurely age their skin if they overuse this equipment. While tanning beds and booths are convenient and allow people to tan all year round they should not be overused. Tanning pills work by changing a person’s skin color from the inside out. The pills contain a substance called canthaxanthin. This substance is used in small amounts of certain foods because it is a darkening agent that is derived from plants. Tanners that choose to take pills will have to take them for at least two weeks before they start to see results. The FDA has not approved canthaxanthin for this purpose. As a result people can develop some serious side effects from this drug. People who tanning pills should do so with caution and have their doctor (or physician) monitor their health if they decide to use this product. Tanning lotions are applied topically to a person’s skin and they work with the use of a darkening substance called dihydroxyacetone or DHA. DHA is derived from sugar and it has the ability to darken a person’s skin once it comes into contact with their melanin. Sunless tanning lotions usually do not cause damage to a person’s skin. Airbrushing is tanning method that involves the use of a technician spraying a tanning solution onto a person’s skin. The solution covers a person’s body in order to give them a tanned appearance. This process takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete and it last for up to 7 days. Tanning mists are similar to sprays or lotions with the exception that they are used for a short duration. Tanning mists are designed for a person who wants to darken up their skin for a day. The mist is very fine and is best suited for touch ups or light tanning applications. Most of these sunless tanning methods are a great way for people to darken their skin without the damaging it from harmful UV rays.  

How To Get The Best Tan

People who tan their skin must wash their body before they start the tanning process. Washing and exfoliating the skin will help to remove dirt and grime from a person’s torso. It also allows a person to better facilitate the tanning process. Dirt and grime has a way of blocking out sunlight and reducing the tanning effect. After a person washes and exfoliate their skin they should not put on cosmetics or hygiene products. Items such as deodorant, regular lotion, perfume and makeup form a barrier over a person’s skin and will block some of the effects of the sun’s light. People who get a sunless tan should not wash their body for at least a day if they want the best results from these products. Water and the washing process have a way of reducing the effects of a sunless tan and people can literally rub the solutions from their skin. All tanners should keep in mind that sunless tans will only last for about 7 days and that regular tanning will last for about a month. People who use sunless tanning methods will have to reapply coats onto their skin if they want to continue to have a tanned appearance. All tans will eventually fade because of the fact that a person will frequently shed their skin. Some tanning facilities use a 3-Step system for tanning their clients. This process is used to create a fast and dark tan. Each step is utilized to darken a person’s color and to extend the life of the tan. The first step involves the use of tan builders such as vitamins and nutrients. This builds color quickly into the skin. The next step is a tan booster which provides advanced ingredients that help to deepen the color of a person’s skin. This is accomplished by greater energy and oxygen intake. The final step is dark tan extenders that will aid in the further development of a person’s skin color. Ingredients such as vitamins and copper are used for this process. People can only tan for so long before they reach a point where their skin can no longer be safely darkened. Once a person reaches this stage they should stop the tanning process. Each person will know when they reach their limit. A person should not go over a recommended schedule for tanning.  

After a Tanning Session Ends

People should wait at least 4 hours before taking a shower or bathing when they are finished tanning. A person’s skin is still manufacturing melanin long after the tanning procedure has ended. Their skin will need more time to manufacture the tan and bathing will interfere with this process. People can also put on special after tanning lotion to moisturize their skin after the process is completed.

Other Considerations for Tanning

People should make it a point to get their tans as even as possible. This can be accomplished by frequently rotating their bodies through a tanning cycle. People should avoid folding parts of their bodies while they are inside of the tanning bed. Performing actions such as placing their chin on their chest or bending their legs should be avoided. White tan lines will clearly reveal parts of a person’s body that has been covered up during the tanning process. People should pay close attention to areas of their body that are somewhat resistant to the tanning process. The underarm and upper thigh areas are two places that should be given more consideration. Tanners should also keep in mind that once melanin production begins within a person’s body the less exposed areas will naturally darken as well. People should also wear some type of lip protection during the tanning process. A person’s lips do not have the ability to produce melanin and the UV light will burn this area causing it severely chap or blister. Lip balm is generally used to block out UV light during the tanning process. Tanning charts are important for people who sun bath and for people that use tanning booths or beds. Tanners should follow these charts because they can help them to remain safe while they tan. Certain groups of people who have certain types of skin problems or medical conditions should not tan. People with eczema should strongly reconsider tanning their skin. Individual with rashes should also avoid tanning as well.  


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  • “The tanning process does not stimulate large scale melanin production. Also, when a person tans their body it is actually creating more melanin as a defense mechanism against the harmful effects of sunlight.”

    This makes zero sense.

  • Revitol has a full line of all natural skin care products, treatments
    for wrinkles, cellulite, stretch marks, anti-ageing etc..

  • It is a great article! So much information about tan in one place! I think that using self tanners is the best way to look beautiful and not damage your skin. But on a day to day basis it is very important to use sunscreen to protect yourself from signs of premature aging. I know that SOLVADERM brand has a good moisturizer DERMAXSOL that also has SPF 30 in it so it is a good way to look up for your skin and protect it 🙂

  • I’m in my early teens. I’ve been surfing all summer and repeatedly burning my skin. Even blistering. I surf every day all day and apply SPF 30 to my face back of neck and shoulders. Hasn’t really been working I believe it washes off. Am I at risk? I’ve already been noticing drier skin and a few brown spots. Am I too late? 🙁 how would I he able to prevent this?

  • Talk to your dermotologist, ask them how to prevent premature aging, they will undoubetedly tell you to avoid tanning in every form possible, and try to get you to wear sun screen on a daily basis. If your in Dallas, I suggest Dr. Hurley, she will get you going in the right direction.

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