Friday, April 2, 2010

Does tanning in a bed really help you before a vacation?

Most of us "lighter" people feel going to a tanning bed before heading to the tropics will help us with a few things.  1.  We'll look better!  and 2.  It might help us not to get as sunburned when we do arrive.

Is this true?

Well a tanning bed does get you tan.  But how?  By soaking your pasty skin in UV lights that mimic the suns natural UV rays.  It should be clearly noted that epidemiological studies have shown an increased chance of skin cancer from these wonderful UV rays, so do consider this.   If you do "pre-tan" before going experts have noted that it's like having a SPF 4 or less so really, it won't help you THAT much when you land in the tropics and lay around all day in that hot sun.   Cost are anywhere from $4 bucks to $35 bucks per session and you might need to go twice a week for 2-3 weeks to get that look you want. 

Another solution?  You could always try out a "Mystic Tan" spray before going just to have that bronzed look but it will do NOTHING for protection in the sun.  Plus if you're in the pool a lot, it can wear off much quicker.   It will make you look tan in hours and there is no health risk associated with this method.  They say the tan will hold for 4-7 days but again, if you're in the pool a lot...  Costs are $20 and up depending on your area but you only have to go in once and you're done for the week.

Either way once you get to the beach please remember to use a high quality SPF.   There are a gazillion types of sunscreen to choose from but just remember to re-apply often when in the pool and/or sweating a lot.  Here's a link to different types, Google Shopping for Sunscreen.   Even if they claim to be "waterproof" you should still re-apply every few hours in that hot Caribbean sun.   Plus with the right partner, that can be kinda fun!  ;-)

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