People are becoming more aware of the danger that long sun exposure represents to human health. The awareness of risk of sunburns, premature skin aging and skin cancer determines an increasing popularity of sunless tanning. Sunless tanning, also called self-tanning, means obtaining a tan without exposing to the sun. There is a great diversity of sunless tanning products, but the most efficient are considered to be dihydroxyacetone (DHA) products. What should we know about DHA?
Dihydroxyacetone is a carbohydrate that interacts with proteins from the outermost layer of epidermis - stratum corneum. DHA reacts differently to various amino acids form the external surface of the skin, producing different coloration, from yellow to dark brown. As a result a pigmentation effect close to sun tanning is obtained. Dihydroxyacetone products are rather safe as long as the chemical does not penetrate deeper than stratum corneum. That is why side effects are minimal. Although there are registered several cases of allergy to dihydroxyacetone products, most of them are caused by other product compounds, such as perfumes and preservatives, and only a few cases are caused by DHA allergy, manifested as contact dermatitis.
Tanning effect of dihydroxyacetone products begins after 1-2 hours after application and continues darkening the following 24-72 hours, depending on formulation. In order to keep the optimal tan, the product must be reapplied after 5-7 days. The fade away of the tan is happening because the dead skin cells are rubbed off, and new ones are taking their place. Sunless tanning products may be used by anyone who wants to have a healthy tan. As a medical indication it is used by patients with viteligo and certain photosensitivity disorders.
Sunless tanning products may contain different concentrations of DHA, from 1% to 15%. The concentration of DHA determines the intensity of the color. For new users it is recommended to start with lower concentrations. It is important to understand that sunless tanning does not offer protection from ultraviolet rays and artificially tanned skin must be protected when exposed to sun. Some sunless tanning products may have a certain SPF, but it is efficient for only a few hours (as any other sunscreen), but not until tan is maintained. So, even if you are using sunless tanning, don't forget about sunscreens, with a SPF 15 or higher.
Beside dihydroxyacetone products there are some other more or less reasonable alternatives for sunless tanning. Bronzers are available in powders, sprays and creams, and are basically a kind of make-up, because they can be easily washed away with water and soap. Tan accelerators actually are not really ?sunless? tanning products, as they still need solar rays to be efficient. They are based on a substance called tyrosine, which participate in melanin (natural skin pigment) production. However, scientists are still researching this type of products, as they may be dangerous for health.
ABC News - Gel Manicures - Are the Ultra Violet Lights Safe?
DHA-Spray and Sunless "Tanning" Booths
Understand Sunscreen Options
FDA US Food & Drug Administraion
Phytochemicals such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and alkaloids help protect against UV radiation-inflicted damage
NY TIMES Hazards: Indoor Tanning Is Linked to Skin Cancer
Gerber Baby Food now offers product with DHA ...
70 percent of sunscreens that contain UVA filters, many of them are still too weak to adequately protect the skin.
U.S. News & World Report -Tanning Beds Get Highest Carcinogen Rating ~ CNN
CNN ~ Tanning beds cause cancer?
What is Melanoma?
Different forms of skin cancer.
Mayo Clinic Newsletter ~
CNN "Sunless Tanning"
Frequently Asked Questions ~
What is an Air Brush Tan?
It’s the most realistic looking sunless tan. The results are an even, natural, flawless, healthy, contoured tan, which lasts about 7-10 days. Our system eliminates odor, streaks, orange hands and feet, blotchy patches and dirty looking knees, elbows, and nail beds.
How does it work?
Our licensed Aesthetic Skin Consultants will apply a custom blended recipe onto your body. The amino acids on your skin's surface will respond naturally to the active ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and other complementing ingredients to produce the most beautiful sunless tan you've ever seen. Results are immediate but will continue to develop over 6-8hours.
Is it Safe?
Yes. The active ingredient in most sunless tanning products is known as dihydroxyacetone (DHA). DHA is a simple non-toxic sugar, which gained FDA approval 1973. It is often derived from plant sources such as sugar beets and sugar cane. When applied to the skin, DHA penetrates only the top layer of skin, and does not absorb into the body or bloodstream.
Will it turn me orange?
Absolutely not. People turn orange when the solutions applied to their skin contain too high of a concentration of DHA for their skin type (which comes from a lack of adequate training and execution by a technician), along with solutions that contain inferior quality DHA and other chemicals that should not be applied to the skin.
How long does it last?
The average result is 7-10 days but there are factors such as skin type, fitness and lifestyle activities, skin products, and how well you maintain your tan that can cause results to vary. With our affordable monthly lifestyle plans and products, you can maintain a perfect tan all year long with out breaking the bank or risk exposing your skin to harmful the effects of UV exposure.
How long does it take to apply?
Your initial consultation will take 30 minutes to evaluate your skin type and develop a recipe that’s been blended just for you. After that, an average session takes only about 10 to 20 minutes to apply. Our system and technology combine speed and accuracy so incredibly well that you will get a perfect tan in no time.
What do I, or, don’t I wear?
Truly whatever you are comfortable with, even going topless. One exception is that we cannot allow full lower body nudity due to liability and safety precautions. But, please do not worry; our Aesthetic Skin Consultants can do many things to minimize your tan lines. Our goal is to manage your level of comfort while maintaining the utmost in professionalism, making it a pleasant experience for every client. After the session, we recommend that you wear loose fitting, dark, cotton clothing as DHA can react to nylon, silk, and wool. These fabrics along with bra’s and sports bra’s should not be worn during or immediately following your custom airbrush tanning session.
Will it leave behind a mess?
No. Due to the state of the art equipment there is very little over-spray. Additionally, each of our Aesthetic Skin Consultants are equipped with a standing tent for off-site events that contains all of spraying activity while custom airbrushing each client.
Will this product rub off on my sheets or clothing?
It can happen on rare occasions. Our solutions dry quickly and are water-based so it can easily be washed in a normal cycle. For this reason, we recommend wearing dark, cotton clothing, and avoiding synthetic fibers.
What if I am pregnant or nursing?
Simple. We will forward a request to your physician to sign. Once approved by your doctor we will be happy to give that healthy glow.
How do I look great for my wedding day?
By scheduling your Airbrush treatment 24-48 hours prior to your big day. (along with the entire wedding party).
Does this treatment work for men?
My Bella Tan is the perfect solution for everyone. Our state of the art, medical grade airbrush system works just the same on men as it does on women. So regardless of body hair, we will give you the results you want. Our male clients especially like the discreet nature of our service that allows them to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of being in a tanning salon.
Does My Bella Tan product provide protection from the sun?
Unfortunately no. At this time our solution does not provide any SPF protection. Our service provides our clients with a UV free alternative, which should be supplemented with the appropriate SPF protection containing either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide both offering a broad spectrum of protection from both the UVB and UVA ray.