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Glowing reviews: Are self tanners safe alternatives to sun?

Those who have suffered through an unbearable winter are waiting patiently for a reprieve.
That relief isn't far off as spring and summer temperatures typically mean saying so long to your winter jacket and outerwear and hello to T shirts, shorts and bathing suits.
Less clothing often means more skin showing, and more questions regarding tanning and exposure to the sun.
Just how much sun is too much? And, are self tanners truly safe?
This debate often leads to two schools of thought: the sun is healthy and too much sun can ultimately lead to skin cancer. The former statement is referenced in conjunction with the sun carrying Vitamin D that your body needs. But the key to that advice is absorbing the sun in moderation, and not spending hours upon hours basking in it.

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And even if your goal is to gain Vitamin D levels from the sun, it shouldn't be done without adequate protection in the form of sunscreen. One huge misnomer about being in the sun is assuming that only a few minutes won't matter much, and sunscreen, in this instance, is optional.
Sun screen is a must in all situations, especially for those who work outside when the sun is at its brightest and hottest, along with those beach lovers who soak up as many rays as they can handle.
The latter group who lounge for hours on a towel in search of that perfect tan might be more inclined to pack up and head inside given the rise of self tanning lotions and spray tans as a healthy alternative to laying directly in the path of the sun.
But are those options as safe as you think?
The main ingredient in tanning creams and sprays is a color additive known as DHA. That ingredient gives you that dark tan you desire, but DHA isn't adverse to getting its fair share of criticism. But experts point to the small amounts of DHA that actually is in a bottle of tanning cream or part of that sprayer that airbrushes a perfectly patterned tan on your body. The concern with DHA is inhaling it more so than applying it, so spray tanning and lotions that do the same things don't deserve the same kind of scrutiny that laying directly in the does.
Spray tans or lotions, however, don't protect you from the sun. One huge misnomer about tanning creams that you apply is that they somehow shield you from getting burnt by the sun or causing other issues as a result. Tanning lotions should be used along with sunscreen as a one two punch that pulverizes the long lasting and negative effects of stunningly strong ultra violet rays.
Anyone you ask will take a hot, sunny day in place of a wintry mix, blowing snow and sub zero temperatures. But choosing the former shouldn't come at the expense of paying attention to the health of your skin.

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