Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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Safe Sunless Tanning

Scientific reports regarding overexposure to increased ultraviolet (UV) activity in the Earth’s atmosphere have been public knowledge since the 1980s. Today, even though dermatologists and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continue to warn of the damaging effects of UV rays, individuals are still chasing the sun for a tan.

Awareness of the damaging effects of UV radiation from tanning beds has also grown, thanks to campaigns such as the Skin Cancer Foundation’s “Go With Your Own Glow”, which stresses the beauty of our natural skin color. Despite the fact that indoor UV tanners are 75 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those that have never tanned indoors, the desire for a “kissed by the sun” appearance persists, particularly in teens and 20-somethings. According to the American Cancer Society, this is reflected in soaring melanoma figures that are now six times higher for young adults than they were in 1974.

Many wise individuals seeking a sunless bronzed glow without risking their health are turning to today’s much-improved sunless tanners, which are available in creams, lotions, gels, pump sprays, aerosol and wipes. However, the most advanced offering is the botanical, cosmeceutical-grade spray tanning that offers a safe, natural-looking color without the notorious orange streaks of yesteryear, toxic chemicals, dyes or artificial colors.

The solution is made with ingredients such as purified water; dihydroxyacetone, a simple carbohydrate compound approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that is derived from plant sources such as beet and sugar; Saccharum officinarum, the botanical name for cane sugar; whole leaf aloe vera (Barbadensis) extract; sodium benzoate (benzoic acid), a naturally occurring compound with antimicrobial properties found in cranberries, prunes, greengage plums, cinnamon, ripe cloves and apples; and potassium sorbate (sorbic acid), derived from the oil of the unripe rowan berry.

All ingredients, when applied in the right concentration, cause a natural tanning of the skin without skin damage. The tan lasts for seven to 10 days, depending on the body’s natural exfoliation cycle. For best results, exfoliation with a loofah or salt or sugar scrub is recommended prior to spray tanning.

Resource: Jayne Koedding, licensed esthetician and owner of Organic Skincare & Bodyworkx, 13240 Tamiami Trail N., Ste. 207 (Royal Cove Shopping Center), in Naples. For more information, call 239-514-4494.

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