As much as dermatologists insist on defending that the most attractive is the natural color of the skin, a tanned tone is still synonymous with beauty. There are those who achieve it with very little exposure, but what about those who have very fair skin and need hours to achieve it? If this is your case, surrender to the well-applied self-tanner.
A healthy tan does not exist for the skin. That’s how emphatic the dermatologist Ana María Molina, from the Jiménez Díaz Foundation Hospital in Madrid, says . “You have to keep in mind that at the time melanin is secreted, it is a response of the skin to protect itself from the sun .” However, the sun is healthy for the rest of the body. Muscles, bones, cardiovascular system, the brain… ” Vitamin D is necessary so we could say from a more global point of view that there is a healthy tan. But this does not mean sunbathing, but rather giving you the sun, and they are two different things. The second is achieved by going out into the street at non-core hours of the day. With that sun that it gives you, even indirectly, you already synthesize vitamin D,” warns the doctor.
” Unfortunately tanning is in fashion, and it is much healthier to achieve it with a self-tanner than with the sun,” explains Dr. Molina. “A person with blonde hair and fair skin will hardly get a tan from sunbathing. You will only get a sunburn, spots, and damaged skin,” she warns. And, clearly, it does not compensate.
Dermatologists have embarked on a crusade to make people understand that the most attractive thing is the natural color of our skin, with which we come standard.
But, what is really what happens to the skin when we get tans? “Melanin is a brownish-black pigment that has the ability to protect the nucleus of cells from damage caused by solar radiation. Obviously, a person with very dark skin has much more melanin, so they are much more protected than a white-skinned person In fact, the percentage of skin cancer in dark-skinned patients is much lower. It is estimated that, naturally, a person with very dark or black skin has an intrinsic protection factor equivalent to applying an SPF 15 cream daily, while a person with fair skin would only have the equivalent of an SPF 3 as maximum. In addition, it has been shown that these people age much better, they develop the first wrinkles related to photoaging around the age of 50 or 60, while people with fair skin begin much earlier,” explains Dr. Molina.
SELF-TANNER: THE SOLUTION
While tanning is still a fad, at least we’ve traded tanning booths for self-tanner. Dermatologist Ana Molina explains it to us: “When one analyzes the trends in Google Trends from 2004 to 2020, the curve of interest in tanning booths has decreased a lot, while the curve of interest in self-tanners does not stop increasing. I mean, while brown skin is still in style, it has changed the way we want to achieve those results.”
And, without a doubt, self-tanners are the healthiest option. “These are creams or sprays that contain a substance called dihydroxyacetone that oxidizes the proteins of the most superficial layer of the skin, producing brown substances known as melanoidins that resist water and the detergents present in soaps. Yes, we do not reapply them, they usually last around 1 week or a little more. This makes our skin adopt a tan color very similar to what happens when we produce melanin due to the effect of the sun, but without damaging our skin”, explains the doctor.
TO MAKE IT LOOK GOOD…
- The first step is to exfoliate the skin. It is very important to achieve a homogeneous finish, since we unify the surface of the skin so that the self-tanner is absorbed equally and we help to avoid the dreaded spots.
- Once we have clean, exfoliated and dry skin, the self-tanner is applied, little by little and with circular movements to make sure that we do not leave any area of the skin uncovered.
- To avoid staining in rough and flex areas, for example, elbows or knees where self-tanner tends to accumulate, we can use a make-up remover pad or a dry tissue to remove excess product.
- Lastly, let it dry for about 10-15 minutes.
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