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lbwhite89's avatar

What's the best alternative to tanning?

Asked by lbwhite89 (1208points) March 12th, 2011

I used to go to the tanning bed, but I stopped because of the risk of skin cancer (plus the monthly cost). I know tanning in the sun is pretty much just as bad, so I’m looking for alternatives for the summer. I know I should just embrace my paleness, but that’s not working for me.

Tanning lotions are an option, but there are some issues. First, certain ones are better than others and the better ones tend to cost a lot more. Those gradual tanning lotions like the one from Aveeno never seems to work for me and the others all seem to have an awful odor. I used Xen Tan for awhile, which seems to be one of the higher end products, and dealt with the horrendous smell (starts off nice, but stinks up your clothes and sheets overnight as it dries). It was just a huge hassle and I don’t really have the time for that.

Spray tanning is the other option, but it seems really expensive. $30 for one visit and it only lasts 5–7 days? Sounds like a rip-off unless you’re going to prom or a wedding.

I know there are people out there who are very health-conscious and refuse to tan but still look bronze all year round. How can I get that without breaking the bank?

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13 Answers

chyna's avatar

I think the spray on tan will be your only option. It seems to look pretty natural compared to the bottled ones. The only idea I can come up with for you is to work at one of those places and get either a discount or a free spray tan once a week.

Bellatrix's avatar

I am not being trite but getting used to just allowing your skin to be its natural tone is the cheapest, safest option. Otherwise, I think your options are limited to spray tanning but then you risk looking orange.

john65pennington's avatar

I am fortunate. I keep a year-round tan, thanks to my Cherokee ancestors. No charge.

Wish I could bestow the same to you. My wife has red hair and she rarely tans.

Is tanning really that important?

lbwhite89's avatar

@john65pennington No, it isn’t very important, but to be honest a naturally tan person could never empathize with a naturally pale person. It isn’t a life-altering thing, but having a nice tan in the summer makes me a little more confident, and every little bit helps. I think it’s good that I’m not opting for the tanning bed, so it’s not so awful that I’d like an alternative.

2CDenzy's avatar

Alternative to tanning: not tanning.

Also just because studies say things it doesn’t mean they happen 100% of the time.

lbwhite89's avatar

@2CDenzy I know that not everyone who tans will get skin cancer. However, I have an increased risk of skin cancer because of my skin type. My dermatologist has basically prohibited me from going out in the sun without sunscreen because of it. I’ve already had spots removed, so I won’t be taking any chances, with the tanning bed especially.

And as for your first statement, that didn’t answer my question. I clearly stated that I wasn’t looking for anyone to tell me to just stay pale. I’m very aware that that is an option. Thank you.

Bellatrix's avatar

I am not sure what you are suggesting @2CDenzy? I hope I am mistaken in what I think you mean? That despite studies connecting the use of solariums to skin cancer, it does not mean @lbwhite89 will develop skin cancer?

That may be true, but I wouldn’t want to suggest people take that risk? That’s the same argument that suggests just because research has shown the connection between smoking and cancer, you can continue to smoke a pack of day because it might not happen to you?

Bellatrix's avatar

@lbwhite89 you are doing the right thing in looking for alternatives but the best one might be just accepting you have a fair complexion and learning to love it. I know that’s not what you want to do, but it might be the safest and healthiest thing to do. I live in one of the world’s skin cancer capitals and I see my husband go off to the dermatologist on a regular basis to have skin cancers cut out and burned off. Not to mention the premature aging he suffers. Not something you want. You are right to follow the advice you have been given.

2CDenzy's avatar

@lbwhite89 I guess my answer was to continue using tanning beds but I am sorry I wasn’t aware that you had an increased risk of getting skin cancer. I am a quite pale person myself and I wish I was a little darker too, maybe I should look into something as well.

@Mz_Lizzy There are always risks in life. Getting out of bed you might trip and sprain your ankle, before your next breath realize there is a possibility that your house might be full of CO2 and your alarms are broken. Granted these reasons are very outlandish and happen rarely ever and I am not saying that the product of this research never happens because it does. My point is just to keep people aware that the possibilities of studies are very rare at times (for lack of a better phrasing). Sometimes we risk it for the outcome.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Just get the occasional sun from doing normal outdoor things. We didn’t exactly evolve to sit in the shade all the time. We actually benefit from sunlight. The risk of skin cancer is only if you burn, or at least primarily. And if you’re so worried about cancer, just eat a nutrient rich diet.

Seelix's avatar

Here are a few sites which review sunless tanners. It seems that if you’re willing to try them out to see what works best for you, you should be able to find one that won’t break the bank.

augustlan's avatar

Pale is the new tan. says the pasty white girl, here.

If you’re primarily concerned about having a tan face, you could use a bronzer.

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