Want to Tan Faster? Here’s How to Get a Quick (And Safe!) Tan
With summer in full swing, we can’t think of a more appropriate time to discuss the importance of sun safety. A favorite pastime for many once the temperatures rise is to lay out and get a tan. And while that’s one way to achieve skin that looks more bronzed, it’s really bad for your skin — and even dangerous. Sunbathing can put your skin at risk for premature signs of skin aging, as well as some cancers, especially if you neglect to apply sunscreen daily. Unfortunately, sunbathing can bronze your skin fairly quickly, which is why many people aren’t so keen on abandoning it for good. But hear us out when we say that there’s another way to achieve that coveted bronze glow — fast — without putting you at risk for damaging your skin. Below, we’re sharing exactly how to get a quick (and safe) tan.
Is It Possible to Tan Safely in the Sun?
There’s no such thing as tanning safely. In fact, a tan is actually just your body’s response to injury. “Sun exposure causes changes at the DNA level of the skin cells, triggering the cells that produce pigment to increase their output of melanin,” board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Edward (Ted) Lain, MD, says. “The melanin is then transferred to the skin cells to act as an umbrella over the DNA. Therefore, if you consider that a tan represents damage to your DNA, how could any tan be safe?”
Why Does Your Skin Look Darker After Laying in the Sun?
Let’s break down the science for you: Dr. Lain explains that people with darker skin tones have a greater number of cells that produce pigment in their skin. This is called melanin. When skin gets damaged by the sun, the body produces even more melanin to try and protect the skin from further damage.“Because sun exposure causes the cells to produce more pigment, the greater the number of these pigment factories the darker the skin will get in response to sun exposure,” Dr. Lain says.
What Can Happen to Your Skin if You Tan in the Sun?
By now you’re well aware that sunbathing can lead to a multitude of skin concerns, be it visible signs of aging — or worse, some skin cancers. But what exactly is happening to your skin as it lays under those rays? “The accumulation of sun damage leads to pigment anomalies in the skin, either as dark spots or white spots,” Dr. Lain says. “Fine lines and wrinkles soon develop, then skin sagging and finally pre-cancers and skin cancers.”
Are Tanning Beds a Safer Alternative?
Not at all. Tanning beds are not a safe alternative to outdoor sunbathing. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, tanning beds emit UVA rays which could increase the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
How to Get a Faster (and Safer) Tan: Apply Self-Tanner
Your best bet for getting a safe, bronze glow this summer? Turning to self-tanners that can work just as well, if not better (and faster) than laying out in the sun for hours. Here, we list three of our favorite self-tanning formulas.
For an Airbrushed Finish:
L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Properfect Salon Airbrush Mist
If you frequent the spray tan salon, take a breather and turn to L’Oréal Paris’ Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Mist. These airbrush-inspired tanning mists can offer you a natural, even-looking tan. Plus, you can count on its superfine mist applicator to access those hard-to-reach places, like the backs of your arms, legs and upper back.
For a Sun-Kissed Glow:
L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion
For that instant streak-free tan, reach for this medium self-tanning lotion. Its formula—enhanced with vitamin E and AHAs—offers an instant glow with subtle shimmer that leaves the skin feeling smooth and soft.
For a Gradual Tan:
L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Gelee
Sometimes we want to take our sweet time getting to that desired level of bronze, in which case a gradual self-tanner like this one fits the bill. The ultra-lightweight formula will help you develop your ideal sunless tan with continued use. Apply it once or twice a day to reach your tan goal.