Monthly Archives: February 2012

Any stories to share about your teens and the desparate need to look tan?

Of the one million people who tan in tanning salons on an average day in the United States, almost 70% are teen girls and young women, one expert says. (File photo)

Tanning bed use by teens is in the news again, as 18 states consider following California’s lead in restricting their use among those younger than 21. Back in January, the Inquirer took an in-depth look at how the incidence of malignant melanoma – a deadly skin cancer – has risen every year for the last 12 years in young women, keeping pace with growth of the tanning-salon industry.
Currently, 14- to 18-year-olds in New Jersey and Delaware are supposed to have parental permission for indoor tanning, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Pennsylvania has no restrictions, according to the National Tanning Training Institute’s state-by-state list. As winter turns to springtime, more teens may be considering indoor tanning as they get ready for prom season. I asked adolescent medicine specialist Rima Himelstein, M.D., a Crozer-Keystone Health System pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist, about tanning and teens. Here’s what she told me:
Q: What’s the health issue with indoor tanning and teens?
A: Tanning beds use UVA radiation, one of the three types of ultraviolet radiation (UVA, UVB, and UVC) that the sun emits. Ultraviolet raiation is considered to be a carcinogen like tobacco. The levels of UVA radiation from tanning beds is believed to cause deeper skin damage than even the levels from the sun. Indoor tanning devices can lead to 15 times more UVA levels than sunlight. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Dermatology as well as other professional organizations have recommended that laws ban minors from going to tanning parlors. 
Q: Why is there so much concern about girls and tanning salons?
A: Of the one million people who tan in tanning salons on an average day in the United States, almost 70 percent are teenage girls and young women. This disparity becomes especially alarming when it is coupled with the fact that the rates of skin cancers in young people have increased dramatically. Melanoma, which is the most aggressive form of skin cancer, is now the second most common cancer in 15 to 29 years old. 
Q: What should parents tell teens who want to tan?
A: My advice to parents is to not allow their teenagers to go to tanning salons. Parents need to take the time and effort to explain in detail to their children the risks of skin cancer. Although, in general, scare tactics are not usually effective at promoting change in teens, the effect may be different in skin cancer where truly “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  Such a picture can be obtained by searching “skin cancer” images online. 
Q: Are spray tans a good alternative?
A: If teenagers like the look of bronzed skin or if they feel good when they are tanned, we are not going to be able to change their feelings by the prom. A safe alternative is an artificial tanner that contains dihydroxyacetone. Parents should offer this to their children as a safe alternative to tanning beds.  Dihydroxyacetone reacts with amino acids in the skin’s outer layer to form brown-black deposits in the skin.  Dihydroxyacetone is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as a tanning agent and has not been linked to cancer in animal studies.  
What about you? Any stories to share about your teens and the desparate need to look tan?

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Remove Your Airbrush

When trying out a new sunless tanning product, you may come across some that just don’t give you the right colour, or leave streaks or blotches.  You probably don’t want to be walking around with an orange face while you wait for the effect to wear off, but don’t worry, there are a few things you can try to get your skin back to normal and embark on your next sunless tan trial.

Acidic liquids such as white vinegar and lemon juice can help reduce the intensity of any streaks or blotches your sunless tanning lotion may have left you with.  Using either of these on a cotton ball, or even using a slice of lemon, can remove the streak and leave you with an even and wonderful looking sunless tan.
Mixing some baking soda up with a little water will also help to remove streaks and even out your faux tan.  Washing an area that has gone too dark with some baking soda then exfoliating gently should remove the problem spot with little muss or fuss and no acidic odour.
If your face has gone a bright shade of carrot orange, wash with a generous application of facial toner.  You can also use a cosmetic bronzer powder or moisturizer afterwards to smooth the shade of your skin while keeping some of that added colour.
Thorough exfoliation over your whole body can also cut the intensity of an undesirable shade to give you a more acceptable and natural glow.  Shaving your legs can do the trick as well if you’ve used the self tanner mainly on that area.  You can even try coating yourself with baby oil to loosen up the top layer of dead skin then grab a loofah and jump in the shower.  With self-tanners, you’ve stained your outer layer of skin, so that dead skin on top can be taken off with a good dose of exfoliation.
You may have done a real number on yourself and given your skin a heavy application of self-tanning lotion that looks terrible.  If the other home remedies just aren’t going to cut it for you, there are professional self-tanning remover products you can buy that will be effective for about 4 hours after application of the self-tan product.
Self-tanning mishaps may be prevented in the future by shopping around for quality products from trusted cosmetic name brands.  Of course, this isn’t always the case because a certain product may react differently on your skin than that of someone else.  Doing a trial run on a test patch of skin should help you determine the colour you’ll be getting from any given self-tanning product and give you a better experience with your future tanning lotion applications.

Secrets Your Skin Is Keeping From You

What Isn’t Your Skin Telling You?  
Skin Type 2
Skin Type 1
Our culture made up this idea that being tan equals beautiful. Indoor tanning companies saw this concept as a way to make money from this concept, and now promote the idea that to be beautiful, you must be tan. Following the “tan is beautiful” trend, each day 11 million women take trips to tanning salons to achieve “beauty.” There are two types of tanning beds that mimic the UVA and UVB rays that come from the sun that allows a person to achieve a tan in a matter of minutes.  The most popular tanning units in salons are the UVB tanning beds, which contain UVB rays know to penetrate the top layers of skin and are most responsible for sunburns. Tanning salons also offer UVA tanning beds, containg UVA rays that penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin. UVA tanning beds are usually much more money offering a burn-free tan leading customers to believe that they are actually healthy for skin care. In all actuality the UVA rays that are emitted from tanning beds are two to three times more powerful than UVA rays from the sun. Doing more long-term damage UVA rays are linked with malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, as well as immune system damage, destroyed skin fibers and elasticity causing premature aging, wrinkles and leathery skin. Although there skin may look beautiful after the tanning session is over, just how healthy is there new “beauty”? To find out the answer we looked at two different skin complexations under a deep-skin UV camera: Skin type 1: a person who uses a tanning beds and Skin Type 2: a person who does not use tanning beds. 

THE shocking pictures reveal how ultraviolet rays damaged Skin Type 1’s skin (Left) and Skin Type 2’s skin (Right)

Skin Type 1
Skin Type 2

Looking at these pictures you can now tell that these two women’s skin complexations are anything but similar. Skin Type 1 has burnt her forehead, around her eyes and the bridge of her nose. She will most likely suffer from liver spots in the future due to the damage she has done to her skin. At the moment the pigmentation is unnoticeable to the eye, but it will become darker over time. Looking at Skin Type 2 you can notice that there is little sun damage. Skin Type 2 still tans but uses an alternative method known as Airbrush Tanning which is a safe, quick and precise technique that is customized to fit you skin type perfectly, providing you with a natural golden tan without damaging your skin with harmful chemicals, UV Rays or Tanning Beds. Understanding that everyone has different skin tones, during a fifteen minute process, each skin type is able to choose how light or how dark of a tan they would like.