There are millions of people each and every year that pay extravagant amounts of money to get that perfect, sexy tan.  Most people who are concerned about over exposing their bodies to direct sunlight in their efforts to achieve their perfect tan find themselves torn between spray tans and sunbeds when it comes down to choosing the ideal “fake” tanning method.

Although adding a bit of bronze color to your skin by way of sunbeds or spray tans makes people feel better, feel healthier and feel good about their overall appearance, it is important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of both tanning techniques.

Spray tans – Spray tans are typically very quick and quite easy to achieve.  However, before you begin using spray tans there are a series of important preparations you must make to your skin in order to achieve the best results including the following:

  1. Take a shower and remove all perfumes and deodorants as well as make up and hair products. If you are going to shave your arms or legs it is best to shave the day before you spray tan so as to ensure that your pores are closed.
  2. Exfoliate your skin in order to avoid the spray tan from clinging to the surface of any rough skin areas and creating unsightly orange blotches. The “fake” tan adheres much better to smooth skin and presents with a more natural look.
  3. Moisturize your skin by applying a good amount of a quality cream and then allow it to dry naturally. It is best to perform this moisturizing technique the day before you spray tan so that the cream is fully absorbed into your skin and your pores.

lady being spray tanned

The spray tanning technique takes no longer than about 15 minutes from start to finish, and your tan will develop rather quickly with an attractive end result.  Your tan will last for about 5-7 days before it begins to fade and the procedure presents with no real health risks, no aging skin and no worries about cancer. The only real down sides are the fact that spray tanning once a week over a year’s time could become quite costly, and if you have rough skin spots tanning can produce orange blotches that are not natural in appearance.

Sunbeds – There is no real preparation needed at all with the use of sunbeds.  Some people claim that the use of the sunbed helps our bodies to produce more Vitamin D by way of its UV exposure to the body and attempt to justify their use with this assumed fact. One of the advantages of sunbeds is the ability to control the amount of time you spend tanning allowing you to tan in moderation.  In addition, the result of your sunbed tanning is a much more natural looking tan that actually fades naturally and lasts much longer than a spray tan – typically 5 times longer.

a sunbed which is working

Though the use of sunbeds is quick and easy and can even be relaxing, there are a few important risks and side effects people need be aware of as well.  To begin with, more frequent visits to the tanning salon are necessary in order to achieve the same tanning level as spray tanning affords.  Typically, you would need to schedule at least 8-10 sunbed sessions to get the equivalent tan of a spray tanning session, which can be both costly and very time consuming.

In addition, the frequent use of sunbeds can cause damage to the skin, including a leathery tough look to the skin’s surface over time.  Further risks include the development of dark skin patches or age spots, burns to the corneas of your eyes (if you do not protect your eyes while in the beds), as well as the possible development of melanoma cancer over the long term.  Overall, these risks make one wonder why anyone would actually use tanning beds at all.

With these facts in mind it stands to reason that both methods can be costly.  However, the time that goes into using a sunbed and the potential health risks seem to far outweigh the minimal risks of spray tanning.  Since many people are committed to tanning the summer months, it seems that the most practical and safest method of “fake” tanning would be that of the ever-popular spray tanning technique.  If you are insistent on tanning your body, then be certain to acquaint yourself with the pros and cons of each tanning technique before making your final choice.

Paula Ryan is the creator of Spa tanning tablets. She has a PhD in nutritional sciences and is now studying food supplements further.

She lives in the south of England with her husband, daughter, and 2 cats. In her spare time she most enjoys, being a Mum, learning, cooking, keeping fit, and holidays abroad.