Looking back some twenty years ago, artificial tans were not known for their natural look. In fact, just the opposite! In those days you could point out the all too obvious ‘fake tans’ from the odd orange colour of the affected person’s skin. Not the most admirable fashion statement in my opinion. But now things have changed. Sunless tanning now has a more authentic look to it. If done at a professional salon or tanning booth, streak-free tans are now a norm, as opposed to the all too frequent blatant mistakes of the past.  The fine body sprays are now easy to blend with the skin. Also, It is advisable to moisturise and smooth particularly dry areas of the body, such as the elbows, heels, knees, hands, wrists and feet, a day or two before your tanning session. This will ensure that a smooth, even tan is produced.

Another positive development is that safety aspects have now been taken more into consideration. As long as the tanning agent is correctly applied as per instructions, topically applied sprays, lotions etc are considered to be safe. However, it is well known that UV rays used in tanning lamps, beds and booths can cause skin cancer. Other tanning methods such as lotions, creams, mousses and sprays can be used frequently with no known side effects. The latters’ disadvantages, however, are that they last for much shorter periods of time (3-7 days for spray tans) and it can be costly if you are constantly renewing your tan. They are perfect, however, for a one off special occasion. Additional safety measures include taking care to protect mucous membranes from tanning chemicals. If attending a tanning booth ensure that suitable protective equipment is provided. For example, goggles are suitable eye protection. Nose plugs and filters are useful nasal protection. Lip balm protects this delicate part of your face, which the average person would want unstained with tanning spray anyway! A further note on safety – nowadays you can purchase tanning pills. These are potentially harmful, with damaging deposits sometimes appearing in the eyes. Finally, it is worth noting that most tanning sprays, as well as the majority of other artificial tanning agents, do not include sunscreen. Your skin will consequently not be protected from the sun.

Sunless tanning is very popular today, amongst the famous, as well as the average person. Spray tans have the advantage of being easy and quick to apply, as well as drying quickly compared to many lotions, creams and mousses. Booths contain machines with several jets or nozzles that spray the tanning chemical directly onto your skin. It can also be applied from an airgun or airbrush, which are more mobile and smaller than a booth. Alternatively it may be applied from a bottle. Different shades are produced, varying between people. It dries quicker than some other tanning agents, causing less staining of clothes, bedding and anyone or thing you come into contact with! Well worth a go.