Time for tan | VailDaily.com

Time for tan

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO, Colorado
AE Spray Tanning SM 4-20-07

EAGLE-VAIL ” It only took five minutes for me to lose my pasty white winter pallor.

Up until last week, I was a spray tanning virgin. In college, I donned the swimming goggles and laid in the tanning bed a few times, but after getting really sick the last time I did it, I put it on my “never again” list, right below “six tequila shots in two hours.”

Last week I was momentarily blinded by the sun reflecting off my pale-as-mayo arm. I thought about breaking out the self-tanning products under my sink, but in the past they’ve left my legs streaked and sometimes more orange than brown.

What’s a pale girl to do? Well, fake it.

This week, when my editor suggested I do a story on spray tanning, I agreed, praying I wouldn’t come out streaked, orange or worse, still white.

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Skin Deep Spa, now in Avon, was the first salon in town to offer spray tanning about six years ago, said the spa owner, Julie Bach.

“(Spray tanning) is extremely popular,” said Bach, especially this time of year when people start showing skin that’s been hidden under layers of winter clothing. Clarisse, spray tanner extraordinare at Skin Deep, told me she’s been tanning 6 or 7 people each day.

Inside the treatment room, Clarisse told me to lose my clothes, don the disposable underwear (if I wanted) and take off my necklace. She came back a few minutes later and instructed me to stand in the shower in the room. With sweeping motions she used the little white sprayer to “paint” my body. There were no fumes that I noticed and other than the fine mist being cold as she swept it up and down my body, there wasn’t much too it. Five minutes was all it took before Clarisse switched to blower-mode and started drying my body.

Skin Deep just got the machine, called SunFX, Bach said. “We went through two machines, that tells you how often we do it. This (machine) is really quick ” it only takes about 5 minutes, it used to take a half hour.”

The solution, made partly out of sugar, tricks your skin into thinking it’s tan, Bach said, and people’s skin darkens depending on how it usually tans in the sun.

“I have these two twins that come in. One is always darker than the other, and sure enough, when they spray tanned, one twin was darker than the other,” Bach said.

Back at the office I asked two different people if they noticed anything different. One replied, ‘yeah, you look like you’ve been in the sun.’ The other said ‘well you’re kind of glowing. You look tan.’

Except for a few streaks on my hand, and the “Oompah Loompah” tune my boyfriend keeps humming, I think my fake tan looks good, and that’s all that matters.

Women that went to the tanning salon one or more times a month have an increased chance of getting malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, according to a study published in a 2003 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

After studying over 100,000 women, ages 30 to 50, for eight years, researchers found that women who frequented tanning salons increased their risk of melanoma by 55 percent. This increased risk was greater than the risk of melanoma associated with tans from sun exposure.

Researchers also found that women who used tanning salons during their teens had about a two and a half times the risk of developing melanoma compared with women who never used a tanning salon.

So is there a safe way to get that sun kissed look you’re craving? DHA (dihydroxyacetone), the active ingredient in most sunless tanning products that gives your skin a tanned look, is generally considered safe, according to the Mayo Clinic Web site. The FDA considers DHA safe when applied to your skin, but warns the risks of inhaling or ingesting DHA are unknown, so be sure to shut your eyes and hold your breath while the tanner is applied near your face.

Caramie Schnell can be reached at 748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.

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