Choosing Tanning Products


Jerry Blackburn tells how important it is to use moisturizer for your skin in choosing tanning products.

And the next article on this page is from the FDA on Choosing Tanning Products. This gives us a whole lot more information!!!!!

Choosing Tanning Products Wisely

Tips from Jerry Blackburn

Why is it that people look so good and healthy with a little color, yet tanning can be so harmful to your skin? Recent studies and the news report that there are more cases than ever of melanoma and we all know that extensive exposure to the sun will cause your skin to age more quickly.

There are solutions to the problem of harmful UV sunlight that allow you to have all of the aesthetic benefits of a rich tan without the harmful side effects. The answer is in the types of tanning products you use to care for your skin while in the sun and after.   Pre-Tanning Preparation   It is always good to keep your skin moisturized. Cold weather and dry air can dry it out as well as salt water and chlorine. Always protect your skin with moisturizers day and night. They are most effective if applied immediately following a shower because the skin is moist and freshly exfoliated from washing.

Before going out in the sun, even in the winter, it is important to protect skin with a moisturizer that has a SPF protection factor of 15 or more. This rating is how many times more protected skin is than if it had nothing on it. It is so important to protect the face because it is more susceptible to sunburn.   Tanning Beds   Tanning beds are only slightly less harmful to the skin that the actual sun. However, there are tanning bed lotions meant especially for tanning beds that give a deeper tone to the skin and protect it at the same time. Artificial tanning bed light bulbs are extremely strong, and that is why you can tan in just a few minutes per session. This also prepares the skin to deepen in color each time you go to the beach.

Many salons have tanning booths where you stand or beds where you lie down and get all areas of the body tan at once. This is a good place to go if you are planning to go on vacation to a warm weather climate in the middle of winter. You can enjoy all of your holiday without having to worry about sunburn, because you can condition your skin to the sun before you leave home.   Lotions & Creams and other Tanning Products   It can be confusing knowing what type of lotion to use to best protect your skin and still give you great color. There are spray on lotions, facial tanner products, a lotions with all kinds of number on them! Much of what you should use depends on your skin type.

If you are fair skinned then you need to choose a tanning product that protects the most. An SPF rating of at least 15, but 30 would be better. Those with darker, olive skin tones can use a lotion with an SPF of 8 and be adequately protected, provided they reapply the lotion frequently if there are going to be in the sun for long periods of time. There are also sunless tanning products that offer no protection from UV rays, but will change the skin color without the sun.

About the author: Jerry Blackburn released a lot of articles for the news section of . Amongst his works Jerry is working on topics like tanning products and provides information on sunless tanning.


Sunscreens, Tanning Products, and Sun Safety

Skin damage from sunlight builds up with continued exposure, whether sunburn occurs or not. In addition to skin cancer and sunburn, effects related to premature aging can include wrinkling, and in time, an almost leathery appearance of the skin. Research also suggests that excessive exposure to UV radiation may interfere with the body's immune system.

Sunburn is associated with the shorter ultraviolet wavelengths, known as ultraviolet B (UVB). The longer wavelengths, known as ultraviolet A (UVA), however, can penetrate the skin and damage connective tissue at deeper levels, even if the skin's surface feels cool. It is important to limit exposure to both UVA and UVB.

The following information on sunscreens, tanning products, and sun safety is intended to help consumers make informed decisions about sun protection and tanning.


To help consumers select products that best suit their needs, sunscreens are labeled with SPF numbers. SPF stands for "Sun Protection Factor." The higher the SPF number, the more sunburn protection the product provides. Experts recommend using sunscreens with an SPF number of 15 or higher that also provide protection from UVA rays. Remember, sunscreen use alone will not prevent all of the possible harmful effects of the sun.

The effectiveness of a sunscreen is reduced if it is not applied in adequate amounts or it is washed off, rubbed off, sweated off, or otherwise removed. For maximum effectiveness, apply a sunscreen liberally before going outside and reapply it frequently on all sun-exposed skin. Unless otherwise stated on the label, 30 minutes before going outside and at least every two hours thereafter is a general rule of thumb. About one ounce of sunscreen should be used per application on the average adult.

Label Warning Requirement for Suntanning Products Without Sunscreen

FDA is concerned about the health hazards associated with suntanning products that do not contain sunscreen ingredients. Such suntanning products must bear the following warning statement

"Warning-This product does not contain a sunscreen and does not protect against sunburn. Repeated exposure of unprotected skin while tanning may increase the risk of skin aging, skin cancer, and other harmful effects to the skin even if you do not burn."

(Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 740.19) More Sunscreen Regulations Are Coming

The monograph for OTC sunscreen drug products (21 CFR 352), published on May 21, 1999, addresses the testing and labeling of sunscreen products for the prevention of sunburn (that is, UVB radiation protection). The effective date for manufacturers to comply with the requirements of the monograph was subsequently delayed until December 31, 2002.

FDA intends to publish a proposal to amend the sunscreen monograph in order to develop a comprehensive monograph that addresses formulation, labeling, and testing requirements for both UVB and UVA radiation protection. Following that publication, there will be a public comment period and then FDA will prepare an amended final monograph for publication in a future issue of the Federal Register. Because FDA had not yet published the proposed amendment to the monograph, it was not possible for manufacturers of OTC sunscreen drug products to relabel and test their products by the December 21, 2002 effective date. Therefore, on December 31, 2001, FDA delayed the effective date of the sunscreen monograph until further notice is provided in the proposed amendment. FDA anticipates that this new effective date will not occur before January 1, 2005.

Tanning Accelerators

Lotions and pills marketed as "tanning accelerators" often contain tyrosine (an amino acid), often in combination with other substances. Tanning accelerators may be marketed with the claim that they enhance tanning by stimulating and increasing melanin formation. FDA has concluded that these "tanning accelerators" are actually unapproved drugs, and the agency has issued warning letters to several manufacturers of these products. There is a lack of scientific data showing that they work; in fact, at least one study has found them ineffective.

Tanning Pills

Pills that contain large doses of canthaxanthin are sometimes marketed as "tanning pills." Although FDA has approved canthaxanthin for use as a color additive in foods, where it is used in small amounts, its use as a tanning agent is not approved. Imported tanning pills containing canthaxanthin are subject to import detention as products containing non-permitted color additives.

When a person ingests canthaxanthin in large quantities, the substance is deposited in various parts of the body, including the skin, where it imparts a color ranging from orange to brownish. Tanning pills have been associated with side effects, particularly a condition called "canthaxanthin retinopathy," the formation of yellow deposits in the retina of the eye.

Sunless Tanners and Bronzers

Sunless tanners, sometimes referred to as self-tanners or tanning extenders, are promoted as a way to get tan without the sun. They produce a tanned appearance by interacting with amino acids on the skin's surface. The only color additive currently approved by FDA for this purpose is dihydroxyacetone (DHA). These products can be difficult to apply and the chemicals may react differently on various areas of your body, resulting in uneven coloring.

The term "bronzer" refers to a variety of products used to achieve a temporary tanned appearance. Some are applied topically to stain the skin temporarily. Usually, soap and water will remove them. They may streak after application and, when wet, some may stain clothing.

Among other products marketed as bronzers are tinted moisturizers and brush-on powders. These also produce a temporary effect, similar to other types of makeup. Still others are combination products that also contain DHA.

Sunless tanners and bronzers may or may not contain sunscreen ingredients or be labeled with SPF numbers. Consumers are advised to read the labeling carefully to determine whether or not these products provide protection from the sun.

More Sun-Safety Tips

When at the beach or pool, cover exposed areas with tightly woven clothing and wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your head and face. If you're a parent, protect your children's skin; research indicates that one or more severe, blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence can double the risk of skin cancer later in life.

Remember that the sun's rays are the strongest from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, especially during the late spring and summer. Reflected glare from water and snow also can increase your exposure to UV radiation.

It is equally important to protect your eyes from the sun. Too much UV radiation can damage the cornea and lead to cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye that can cause blindness. Not all tinted glasses - even very dark ones - protect against UV radiation. The UV filtration results from an invisible chemical applied to the sunglasses. Check the label when choosing sunglasses in order to make sure that they provide protection against UV radiation.

Put together by Wayne Potter


                                Choosing Tanning Products

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