Lighting Up the Facts of Sun Tanning vs. Indoor Tanning

The days became longer, the sun begins to shine brighter, and you can feel that the excitement and adventure of summer is in the air. For most of us that means we'll be wearing a lot less clothing than we have during the cooler months, exposing our skin to the world, and giving us good reason to develop a tan.

Tanning at its roots is primarily a way to make the skin look more aesthetically pleasing; however there are psychological reasons that we enjoy sporting a darker skin tone. Typically, in addition to being an attractive trait, tanned skin tells a story about your activity level, your work ethic, and even your health. A sun tan can indicate that someone puts in hours of hard work outdoors in the daylight, that they live a life of leisure with the time to tan, or that they care enough about their appearance to take steps to have their body looking its best.

Outdoor Tanning

By far the most tried and true method of darkening your skin pigmentation, people rely on the sun's rays to:

deepen our complexion
provides a boost of vitamin D which aids in the healthy growth of bones and nails
help alleviate depression.

Outdoor Tanning on the Beach

While it is still safe to tan for shorter periods of time outside as long as a proper sunscreen has been applied, the earth's natural protections against UV rays have been weakened to a point where our skin is now susceptible to potentially serious damage if we are exposed for too long. However you choose to tan, be sure to incorporate sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher when you are exposed to sunlight as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.

Indoor Tanning / Tanning Salons

In the 1980's indoor tanning beds became a popular alternative for those who:

were too busy to spend hours in the sun
were not keen on all that warmth and brightness, but still wanted darkened skin
had concerns about the health effects of long-term sun exposure

Tanning Bed

While both tanning beds and the sun provide the body with UVA and UVB rays which cause your skin to become a desirable golden-brown, tanning beds provide a lot less UVB than natural light, making them ineffective at assisting the body with the production of vitamin D. They do however provide a much more comfortable environment that laying out in the dead heat of summer, as well as allowing the user to maintain their sun-kissed glow all year-round.

Self-Tanner

Also known as “sunless tanning”, self-tanner is a liquid or cream which is sprayed or applied to the skin to create a darker tone. The FDA approved the chemicals in self-tanner in the 1970's, however its popularity has skyrocketed over the last twenty years due to the physical dangers of too much natural sun-exposure. It has proved quite popular for people in the entertainment spotlight such as actors, models, and bodybuilders due to its quick and easy application and drying time, as well as the reduced exposure to the potentially dangerous sun. While traditional methods of tanning may seem harmless now, it is well-established that excess exposure to sunlight can cause skin to age prematurely. The best self-tanner:

goes on easily,
offers a uniform color
provides quick, discrete results that can be achieved almost anywhere.

When putting in the effort to train hard and develop a body to be envied, it is important to be able to exhibit your achievements. A healthy tan will not only make you feel more confident, but also showcase all your new and kept muscle definition, showing others that hard work really does pay off.