Minggu, 20 Februari 2011

Sun Kissed Glow

It’s no secret that I am Tanorexic (a rare syndrome where an individual appears to have a physical and/or psychological addiction to sunbathing or the use of tanning beds.) This definition might be a little extreme for me, because I truly do not have a syndrome and definitely do not have an addiction, but I do really like to be tan and the feeling of getting tan. I’m Greek, and this olive skin of mine just looks better with a little color on it. I figure I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs and drink an appropriate amount, so if tanning is my vice….it could be worse. Of course, it is common knowledge that overexposure to UV rays can be extremely bad for you so it’s very important to tan safely and I am well aware of that.

In college and again for a while last year, I worked for Planet Beach, a global Tanning Salon and Spa. Planet Beach is serious about their tanning and are committed to tanning education for their employees and customers. I actually had to go through and pass a very extensive online course in order to get the job. I am proud to say I am a Graduate of Planet Beach University. As silly as it sounds the course taught me a lot and has allowed me to safely manage my minor tanning addiction and help others with their tanning endeavors.

Quick plug for Planet Beach, if you’re tanning anywhere else…stop! Seriously, go to PB. I have been to A LOT of different tanning salons and PB has the best beds by far and none. You can also be SURE that the employees are well trained on the science of tanning, skin care and all of their products. AND, Planet Beach has recently re-branded themselves into what they call a “Contempo Spa.” Basically, they offer products and services that will not only help you get tan but will reverse the negative effects it has on your skin. For example, they have a “Hydration Station” which might be the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. You lay in a bed that combines steam and infrared light which releases a vitamin-rich mixture through the steam that reaches 180 degrees! The steam opens and cleans your pores and allows the vitamin mixture to penetrate the skin. This amazing invention increases the elasticity and collagen in your skin. It’s like getting a facial but for your entire body. AND, if you do it right before tanning it allows your lotion to go on really smooth and really penetrate your skin and increases the results and length of your tan. SO amazing and so good for you skin!
Here’s some basic information about tanning before I give you some tips! There are two types of UV rays…UVA and UVB. UVA rays are the long-wave rays, you’re almost never safe from UVA rays because they can go through windows, clothing, windshields, clouds, etc. So even if you’re inside you are being exposed to UVA rays and this is also why it’s important to use sunscreen even on cloudy days! In the tanning world these are considered the “Bronzing Rays” so the light that will give you a more brown and bronzed color. UVB rays are the short-waves, and are considered the “Burning Rays.” UVB are they rays that touch the bottom layer of skin and produce melanin, which is the brown pigment in your skin. By penetrating this layer and producing the melanin the UVB creates a tan and a defense against UV radiation (burning).

So, here are some tanning tips from a former professional:

The absolute most important thing is to NOT overexpose your skin. Whether you are tanning indoors or outdoors you need to be aware of the length of time you are exposed and the protection you are using. *Sidebar: don’t ever wear sunscreen in a tanning bed. There are agents in sunscreen that breakdown the enamel in the bed and eventually ruin it. If you don’t want to burn in a tanning bad go for less time! BUT, when you’re outside ABOSLUTELY use sunscreen!

Next, it is crucial to “Build a Base.” This means producing and building that melanin in your skin. For indoor tanning, start in a bed that has a higher ratio of UVB rays than UVA rays as that is what builds the melanin (just ask the employee about the ratio, they should know the answer. If they don’t, get the hell out of there and go to Planet Beach!) Now, because you’re in a bed with more UVB you need to be wary of overexposure, so start small. People always want instant gratification but if you start slow your skin will be healthier and darker in the long run. Slow and steady wins the race. If you’re really fair skinned I’d start as low as 5 minutes. As long as you don’t burn you can slowly increase your time each time you tan. Then once you have that base built move into the beds that have more UVA, those bronzing rays. You’ve taken the time to produce your melanin and now those UVA rays can give it that nice bronzed color you’re looking for! It’s also important to remember to rotate the beds you use. If you’ve worked your way up to the highest level bed make sure to visit the lower level beds too, otherwise your tan will plateau. You need to revisit the lower level UVB bed to continue to produce melanin, otherwise you’re tan will stay the same and you’ll no longer see results. When you’re building a base outdoors, it’s as simple as using sunscreen. Start the summer out with SPF 30 or 15 and decrease as your base builds. If you burn, you will peel. When you’re done peeling you skin will be the color it was before you started, so DON’T BURN! It hurts, it’s bad for your skin and it’s bad for your tan!

Lastly, use tanning lotions! I know when you go to a tanning salon it seems like the girls are just trying to make a sale, but what a lot of them don’t explain well is that lotion is crucial to your tan! First of all, it hydrates your skin. I highly recommend exfoliating at home and then adding your tanning lotion, this removes all that dead skin and dead skin does not tan! Lotions also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals the can increase the color and the life of your tan. These vitamins and minerals can also help reduce the negative effects of tanning. A lot of lotions today have anti-aging chemicals in them as well as collagen boosters. It’s super important to get a lotion that is paraben free and all natural. Surprise, surprise I recommend going to Planet Beach to get your lotion! Even if you’re not going to take my advice and tan there at least get your lotion there! They have great paraben free and all natural products! The lotion I use “Divine Wisdom” which has orange juice in it to really gives my skin that vitamin C it needs and it never gets the tight feeling you can feel while tanning! Plus it smells great! You get great results with tanning lotions outdoors too! Just mix it with your sunscreen so that you don’t overexpose and are still getting the vitamins and nutrients from the lotion!

I hope this helps! Happy Summer and Safe Tanning!!!!!!!!

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