Spray tan vs tanning bed: this has been a debate for novice tanners and tanning experts alike. Although the media has a periodic love affair with creamy, never-seen-the-light-of-day skin, for the most part, tanned skin sets the standard for beauty. It is, therefore, a handy asset in any gal or guy’s beauty toolkit.
Spray Tan Vs Tanning Bed: What’s the Best Way to Have a Golden Glow?
Spray Tan Vs Tanning Bed Explained
Luckily, there are a few ways you can achieve that golden hue (safely). The first is the tried-and-true tanning bed, which uses ultraviolet rays to promote the development of melanin in the skin and turn it to that beloved golden brown. Spray tanning can simulate that golden brown using dyes and clever application systems that help the tanner go on evenly, and in recent years, these systems have become much more targeted and natural-looking.
So now the question is: Which is better? Let’s take a look.
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Tanning in a bed is neither a new nor an unusual practice. Beds have been available since the 1950s and 1960s, helping people achieve that healthy-looking glow without access to a Mediterranean climate. Those who use tanning beds love it for many reasons.
For one thing, tanning beds give you a glow that lasts a long time, and once you reach your desired level of tan, it’s easy to create a routine to keep it up. Plus, the look is very natural, creating a golden hue the exact shade you would acquire if you were to tan outdoors. Unlike sunlight, though, you can exert more control over your tan in a bed, building up the intensity very slowly to avoid burns and strengthen your base tan.
You have to be careful, though. While using a high SPF sunblock will still yield you results in the tanning bed, it is considered by many to be counterproductive. However, tanning does pose cancer risks, especially for those who are already susceptible because of previous exposure or a family history.
A nice benefit of UV tanning is that you don’t have to do anything special to prepare, other than show up and slather on some product. With a spray tan, however, you have to be clean-shaven, avoid sweating or showering for 8 hours beforehand, apply a moisturizing lotion from head to toe, and make sure it’s the right lotion – all of which makes spray tanning a bit more of an ordeal.
However, spray tanning does have its benefits as well.
In the modern age, spray tanning has become a widely promoted alternative to UV tanning. Admittedly, the results are not as good, simply because a fake is rarely “as good” as the real thing. While spray tanning does go on evenly, it can in some cases still gather in rougher patches (ankles, elbows, knees) and exhibit that faint orange-y smear we all know so well.
However, it typically looks very natural, and spray tanning aficionados swear by it because it’s non-visual benefits are numerous.
One of the biggest is that it is immediate. No buying of a tanning package for ten sessions, then hoping you can fit them in (without burning) before a wedding or a spring break trip. You’ll see the results immediately upon walking out of the spray tanning salon. It is ideal for fair skin that doesn’t tan at all or turns a mottled purple at best, and it won’t react with medication the way UV rays sometimes do.
Another benefit is the color of the spray tan can be matched to your skin’s natural undertone … or to the undertone, you wish you had. The aesthetician at the spray tanning salon can help you choose the right color combination to complement your skin and give you the look you want, and all in a few minutes or less!
One of the drawbacks of spray tanning, however, is that the tan doesn’t last nearly as long as what you’d get from the sun or a tanning bed. Within 5-10 days, the tan will become noticeably paler, and in a few weeks, it will be gone entirely. For some people, who don’t mind a trip to the spray tanning salon every few weeks, that might not be an issue.
Watch this video from ehowbeauty to learn how to use tanning beds:
In the end, the choice is up to you. People who naturally spend lots of time in the sun anyway at certain times of year may opt for the UV bed since they already practice skin safety with UV rays. Others, who have fair skin or no interest in actual sun tanning, may find spray tanning to be the solution they’ve been looking for.
What’s your take on the spray tan vs tanning bed debate? Let us know in the comments section!