Most people believe that sun tanning is safe, and that the sun is only dangerous when it burns your skin visibly red. A golden glow looks healthy, so it must be healthy, right? Wrong! That couldn’t be further from the truth. The visible tanning of your skin doesn’t occur until dangerous UV rays have pierced your epidermis and have begun to affect your DNA. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the reality is that skin damage begins at the very start of the sun-tanning process.
The self-tan experts at St Moriz shared with us why there’s no such thing as safe sun tanning.
When your skin begins to tan, it produces more melanin. This is the pigment that gives us our colouring, and that protects the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. When the sun’s rays reach your skin, your body is stimulated to produce melanin as a form of protection. While this may seem beneficial, melanin is only produced when damage is already being done to the skin – it can be likened to a defense-mechanism in response to the harm. It is a direct response to mutations that are occurring in the DNA thanks to the sun. Thus, it is actually dangerous to try and increase the melanin in your skin by overexposure to the sun.
So just how dangerous is the sun?
Sun tanning leads to an increased risk of developing skin cancer, it accelerates premature ageing and can changes in the skin’s texture. It can also lead to hyperpigmentation and an uneven skin tone. While some exposure to the sun is healthy (it helps the body produce vitamin D – one of the essential nutrients), we know for certain that there is no such thing as a healthy or safe sun tan. Lying in the sun for hours in the hope of achieving a summery glow is not worth the damage that you are causing to your skin. But don’t despair, you can still get your glow on in a safe and harm-free way!
Self-tanning products are even more effective than the sun in creating a healthy glow, and yet they cause no damage to your skin. They are easy to use, do not require lots of time or effort and have no dangerous side effects. This way, you can choose to intensify your skin tone without sacrificing your health! Even one tanning session outside in the sun can increase your risk of cancer, so why take the chance?
One of the products we love is the St Moriz Gold Glow Moisturizer (R149.95), which works slowly and lets you decide how dark you’d like to go … without streaks (hate a streaky ankle or knees!). It’s new on the SA shelves, and you’ll find it at exclusively at Clicks.