Tanning beds can give you that natural looking tan year round. They are convenient and not prohibitively expensive - most tanning spas offer discounts with a prepaid or a monthly subscription. Additional deals can be regularly found online at "daily deal" websites, such as Groupon.
However, extensive research has linked tanning beds to melanoma, a deadly skin cancer. In fact, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer has moved UV (ultraviolet) tanning beds to its highest cancer risk category - from "probably carcinogenic to humans" to "carcinogenic to humans". All of this evidence is too difficult to ignore: melanoma kills.
So, how do you get that dark, healthy glow without risking your health (perhaps your very life)? A spray tan is one option. But, the biggest drawback is that a spray tan usually lasts only 5-10 days and begins to fade after just a day or two. There are, however, a few things you can do to extend the life of your spray tan:
One of the keys to a longer lasting spray tan is to remove all of the dead skin cells and body oils by exfoliating. Use a body and facial scrub. A loofah or puff sponge mesh net ball works really well too.
2. To Pre-Moisturize or Not
Check with your tanning spa. Depending on the formula used by the spa, you will be advised to not apply any type of moisturizer or to apply a thin layer of lotion right before the tan.
3. Allow for the Tan to Develop
Depending on the formula and other conditions, a spray tan takes anywhere from about 3 to 8 hours to fully develop. Avoid baths, showers and perspiring during the development time.
4. Protect the Tan
Once the tan is developed, apply a liberal amount of moisturizer as needed. It is important to keep the skin moisturized.
5. Avoid Scrubs, Loofahs and Chlorine
Body scrubs, loofahs, chlorine and other chemicals should be avoided in order to prolong the tan.
6. Use Self-Tanning Products
Self-tanning products can be used to prolong the life of a spray tan. This is particularly true on certain body parts, such as the calves and shins. Shaving your legs is unavoidable, but shaving has an exfoliation effect. A self-tanning product can be very useful to remedy the accelerated fading on legs due to shaving.