With all the recent news in the press about the Sun Awareness Campaign and Skin Cancer, you would think it would be clearer about the health benefits of spray tanning as an alternative to conventional methods of tanning. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A recent survey conducted by our friends at the B.A.D (The British Association of Dermatology), reveals that three out of four of us Brits have been sunburnt in the past year in some shape or form!
So why is spray tanning a healthy alternative? Spray tanning allows you to avoid the unnecessary excessive UVB and UVA radiation from natural or artificial sun. Studies have shown that UV rays have been linked to the development of skin cancer.
Dr Walayat Hussain, consultant dermatologist at Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust says: ‘UV exposure is the largest risk factor contributing to the ever increasing rates of skin cancer in the UK. It is of great concern to skin cancer specialists like myself that people still believe that getting a tan from sunbeds is healthy. Studies looking into skin cancer have shown that the risk for the development of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, is highest for those who had used a sunbed before the age of 35. When the skin is exposed to UV rays, the cells become damaged and in order to prevent further damage, the pigment producing cells in the skin start to work harder thereby producing the tan that many desire. A tan produced by UV exposure is therefore actually a sign of sun damage in the skin. In this regard, spray tanning (whilst continuing to use sunblock when needed) is far safer than UV tanning. Although currently in the UK more women than men are diagnosed with melanoma, if the male desire to use sunbeds continues to increase this trend may soon be reversed.”
Spray tans are free from UV rays, however they don’t protect against sun damage and still need to be used in conjunction with SPF cream to minimise the risks of sun damage. Flipping this on its head, having a spray tan won’t prevent your body from absorbing Vitamin D which is essential for healthy bones – just ensure you don’t overexpose yourself to sunlight!
If you are not convinced by the above, perhaps vanity will prevail. Dermatologists believe your health shows in your face. If you look in the mirror and see the damage, it’s something they call premature ageing. Freckling and wrinkling can be accelerated by UV radiation.
In addition, spray tan solutions are often enriched with skin rejuvenating agents, exotic oils and extracts such as coconut oil, Vitamin C, D and E, and kiwi extract, all of which help us to feel healthy and happy.
Finally, perhaps something for mental health, we all want someone to ask us how we have achieved that healthy glow or to say ‘have you been on holiday?’ So spray tan away, Summer isn’t always here to stay.