Tanning beds are bad for you (but you already knew that). For those of you who have never used tanning beds because you knew that was a bad idea, props. For those of you who were like me and it took you a while to fully comprehend what you were doing to yourself and just really enjoyed having a tan, you can relate. And for those of you who are still using tanning beds, it’s time to go another direction–get your airbrush tan on.
Five years too long.
I tanned regularly for five years. I started my sophomore year of high school with the only-before-a-school-dance rationale and before I knew it I was a regular–five years too long! I couldn’t help it–I loved having a tan! I was the ridiculous looking girl in the winter who was unnaturally tan but my mini denim skirt and uggs looked way better with a nice glow, #amirite?
I never considered spray tans because they seemed messy, like too much work and inconvenient. And it was like a 50/50 chance I would most likely turn orange. With the tanning bed, I didn’t have to worry about the long- or short-term mess from a spray tan and potential bad tan job. But what I didn’t take seriously was the long-term impact of tanning beds on my health.
Wake up call.
It takes years for sun or UV exposure to show signs of skin damage–“when the sunburn fades, the damage remains.” So that glow in the moment won’t give you a glow later as much as it will give you wrinkles, premature aging, sun spots and potentially cancer. One day, a flip just switched and I said tanning beds, no more! I started becoming paranoid about wrinkles and ruining my skin. (I still feel bummed at times about the damage I’ve done to it thus far.) But all I can do now is take care of it!
I envied people with an Anne Hathaway complexion who made pale look beautiful, but I started becoming comfortable with being pale. The worst was after college when I started working and wasn’t able to get any sun at all in the summer–never had I been pale during the summer! I tried tanning lotions and found one I really liked but the unnatural ingredients still aren’t good for your skin. I finally decided to take a chance on my hands and feet turning orange and tried the whole spray tan machine thing. It was a good experience and I was glad I tried it, but the whole time I kept questioning if I was doing it right–did I put enough lotion on my hands; shoot, did I put my hair net far up enough on my hair line!? Too late to change it now. I tried it a couple of times but found it to be more of a chore than anything and I missed the human connection part of the experience. Then I discovered the beauty of an airbrush tan.
Skip the wrinkles, orange hands and streaky tans.
You mean someone will spray–I mean airbrush–tan me? The idea was comforting and unnerving at the same time, but it sounded promising. I loved the idea of having someone who knew what they were doing provide the service. You definitely reach an all new comfort level standing in front of someone with no clothes on while they attentively spray every inch of your body, but you completely forget about that. It was just so nice to have someone who could provide reassurance and guidance on the prep and maintenance aspects for a natural tan, and not one that looks like I seriously struggled in the tanning booth. But more importantly, it was so reassuring to know I wasn’t damaging my skin!
How to get your airbrush tan on.
Airbrush tan deals are usually available at really good rates in your area via Groupon. It’s a really good way to start and figure out what works for you without investing too much money in it if you’re unsure. I had such a good experience when I first tried an airbrush tan at a random salon after I found a deal on Groupon a few years ago. I did that when I had events or in the summertime when I wasn’t able to get outside but the problem was having to research the places each time and rely on reviews. Like your favorite froyo or breakfast spot, you go because you know what to expect and it’s reliable. That’s why I am so excited about a new airbrush tanning boutique that just opened in Asheville!
No more wrinkles, no more splotchy hands and feet, no more am I doing this right? Only a natural bronzed glow and the most personable customer service for a memorable experience. I’ll be sharing my recent airbrush tan experience and introducing you to the sweet local owner soon — stay tuned! (There may even be a special offer!)
photos, Joseph Dix Photography
Looking for a healthy way to glow? Try these organic and natural sunless tanners:
- Eco Tan. Choose from a variety of organic and all natural sunless tanners.
- Kiehl’s. Get a sun-free golden glow for your face and body.
- Bali Body. A vegan-friendly tanning and body oil with natural plant and seed based oils and butters for a golden glow while hydrating your skin.
- 4 steps to the perfect self tan with LEAF. Here’s what you need and here’s how to do it!
- Check out these organic sunless tanners for better bronzing.