Charleston Dermatology Blog

Tanning Bed Alternatives That Literally Save Your Skin

  • skin-conditions
  • skincare-tips

Looking to add a healthy glow to your skin? Tanning beds can be a tempting hack. However, while these convenient tools may help you achieve bronzed skin, they can also cause dangerous (and even life-threatening) side effects. As advocates for your skin’s success, our board-certified dermatologists have compiled this list of tanning bed alternatives to literally save your skin.

The Risks of Tanning Beds

Our practice frequently discusses the dangers of sun damage…did you know that tanning beds may cause more harm? But how?

Both tanning beds and the sun emit harmful UV rays. While all UV rays are harmful to unprotected skin, the UVA rays emitted from tanning beds are worse. 

Tanning beds also emit three to six times more UV rays than the sun, increasing your risk of cancer. Studies have shown that tanning bed users have a 58% increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma and a 24% increased risk of basal cell carcinoma. Using a tanning bed before age 20 also increased the risk of melanoma by 47%.

Aside from cancerous side effects, tanning bed use can also cause skin damage. These devices are shown to accelerate the skin aging process, leading to noticeable signs on your skin:

  • Wrinkles
  • Age Spots
  • Leathery Skin
  • Loss of firmness and elasticity
  • Increased visibility of stretch marks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has gone as far as to mandate all tanning beds be marked with a visible black box warning to deter use by anyone under 18. This may all sounds a little scary (and the effect of it can be!), but luckily, there are safe alternatives to tanning booths that can yield the same glowing results!

Healthy Tanning Bed Alternatives

There are many options still available for those looking to attain their ideal tone. When looking for healthy tanning alternatives, these options are your best bet.

Self-Tanning Lotions and Sprays

If you want to get your tan on while saving time and money, self-tanning formulas are a great place to start. Utilizing “dihydroxyacetone,” self-tanners trigger a chemical reaction in the top layer of your skin to quickly produce a temporary bronzed look. These convenient, over-the-counter sprays and lotions can be applied from the comfort of your home and typically last between three to 10 days.

Spray Tanning Booths

Similar to at-home tanning sprays, tanning booths provide even better results with none of the mess. These professional and thorough devices ensure you receive an even tan – a difficult feat when tanning yourself. Spray tans typically last between seven to 10 days but may fade faster if choosing a lighter shade.

Charleston Dermatology protects Palmetto State skin!

South Carolina skincare patients trust Charleston Dermatology. Our board-certified dermatologists are ready to support South Carolina patients in achieving their skin goals. We a proud to provide for patients throughout the state. Contact us today to book your appointment and learn more about our cosmetic and medical dermatological services!

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