Earlier the only ways of achieving a dark tan was to spend time exposed in the sun. However with modern technology and advancements it has now become possible to achieve a perfect tan sitting in ones bedroom even in the middle of winter.
The 2 most popular ways of achieving a suntan without actually sitting in the Sun are:
Artificial sunlight is produced in many ways. The most popular being the use of a clam shell type of tanning bed in which there are light tubes on the top and bottom which produce UV rays and cause the skin to tan. Other similar devices in which a person may stand in front of the tubes are also popular.
In the last few decades there has been an increase in the number of tanning parlors. These are public salons where a person can go and get an artificial tan using mainly some of the about stated devices. These are very dangerous because the bulbs give out high intensity UV rays which can achieve in a few minutes the same effect as the Sun can in a few hours. They are dangerous as they are deeper penetrating than regular UV rays and they can cause skin cancer. In addition this exposure to the eyes can cause severe burning of the retina cornea causing even blindness.
The second way of achieving an artificial tan is through the use of tanning cosmetics. These do not burn the skin but mainly act as dyes which can color the skin.
These dyes consist of some chemicals. The most popular being dihydroxyacetone which stick to the top layer of the skin and provide an orange brown color to it. Apart from this Beta-carotene also imparts an unnatural orange brown color to the skin. This is however harmful to the eyes.
Some of these are dangerous but most of those that are have been removed from the market. There are also some tanning pills available which claim to have the same effect. However those are very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
On the whole tanning is not desirable. However if you do want to have a tan then it is suggested that the safest way is to use tanning crams. Tanning parlors are very dangerous and should be stayed away from.
©Copyright 1998 Elizabeth
Beckett, Holly Bernitt, and Vishwa Chandra.