When ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or artificial sources strike the skin, a pigment called melanin develops.
Melanin gives tans their characteristic brown color, but it also serves as the skin’s defense against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
As the majority of the sun’s UVB rays are absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer, the tan you get from being outside is primarily caused by UVA radiation from the sun.
In most tanning beds, UVA and UVB rays are mixed.
Although both UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, UVB rays are more energetic than UVA rays, can directly break your DNA, and are responsible for the majority of skin malignancies.
An increasingly popular alternative to getting a tan without being exposed to damaging UV rays is spray tanning, which uses the color additive dihydroxyacetone (DHA) to evenly apply to temporarily darken skin cells.
Although getting a tan has no health benefits, some people like the way it makes their skin look.
According to legend, tanning gained popularity in 1923 after Coco Chanel was sunburned while visiting the South of France. Photos of her with a tan allegedly became a symbol of leisure and beauty.
The duration of your tan will vary based on how you obtained it (from UV rays or spray). There are several things you can do to keep your tan longer, but it won’t last.
✅ Whether you acquired your tan by sunbathing or a spray tan at a salon will determine how long it lasts.
✅ While no tan is ever permanent, you can add a few days to its lifespan by taking the right care of it.
✅ Tans typically last between 7 and 10 days before the skin begins to naturally exfoliate and renew.
✅ Your tan might stay longer than expected if you exfoliate your body before tanning, utilize a tan extender, and keep your skin moisturized.
How much time do tans last?
The sort of tan determines how long it will last. Additionally, it will rely on the rate of skin regeneration in your body.
In general, a tan obtained through sunbathing outdoors can be anticipated to last 7 to 10 days before the skin’s outer layer starts to naturally exfoliate. Without proper maintenance, spray tans can last up to 10 days or fade in as little as 1 day.
Jules Von Hep, a spray tan expert, stated in an interview with Marie Claire that some clients’ skin does not accept a spray tan as well in the week before or during their period thus you may want to wait until the week after, if possible. However, there is no scientific proof to support this claim.
Can a tan last a lifetime?
Because skin naturally exfoliates over time, a tan is seldom long-lasting. As a result, the tanned skin peels off. Older skin flakes off while new skin cells are created.
Anyone you observe who appears to have a “permanent” tan either has naturally darker skin, applies spray tans or sunless tanning lotions frequently, or has darker skin naturally.
It’s crucial to remember that sunless tanning pills are not safe, as stated directly by both the Mayo Clinic and the Food and Drug Administration. They ought to be prevented.
What actions can you take to get a fantastic tan?
When attempting to get a healthy, secure, and long-lasting tan, it is crucial to take precautions to prepare your skin before spending time in the sun. First things first, exfoliate your skin before heading for the sun loungers.
Exfoliating guarantees that the skin cells you want to tan are not already at the end of their life cycles and gets rid of dead cells, which could otherwise result in an uneven tan.
You must also consistently apply sunscreen to your skin in order to protect it. Because sunscreen can’t completely stop the sun’s UV rays, you can still tan while wearing it. There is no justification for avoiding sunscreen since it will help prevent sunburn, wrinkles, aging, and skin disorders including cancer.
Apply an after-sun moisturizer as soon as you are out of the sun to prevent your skin from drying out and to promote a tan that lasts longer.
The safety of tanning beds
Although no method of tanning is fully risk-free, tanning beds and booths pose a particular danger.
UVA radiation from tanning beds can be up to three times as strong as UVA from sunlight. The International Agency for Research on Cancer of The World Health Organization classifies tanning beds as human carcinogens (IARC). Avoid using tanning beds and booths.
How to prevent fading of a tan
There are a few things you can do to prevent fading and thus lengthen the duration of your tan.
- Exfoliate your skin before obtaining a spray tan or going outside in the sun. This will prevent skin from flaking and provide a smooth, even surface for a spray tan to adhere to.
- Take cool or lukewarm showers. Hot water can dry out the skin, which can hasten the fading of a tan.
- Continue to hydrate your skin. Your body’s exfoliation will be slowed by moisturized skin. Use a natural oil to hydrate your skin, such as coconut or avocado oil.
- Add a tanning lotion as a supplement or use a tan extender. Some tan extenders actually increase melanin synthesis.
Precautions for sun exposure and its effects
When spending time in the sun, you should always use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. More sunscreen will probably be required than you realize.
For all exposed skin, the American Academy of Dermatology advises using at least 1 ounce (enough to fill a shot glass or roughly the size of a golf ball). You should reapply sunscreen every two to three hours and after swimming.
The risks of overexposure to the sun include sunburn, heat rash, premature aging (sun exposure causes the skin to lose suppleness, which can lead to wrinkles and skin damage), dehydration brought on by excessive perspiration from the heat, and melanoma and other skin malignancies. Harm to the eyes, as gazing at the sun can cause the rods and cones in the retina to deteriorate.