How To Safely Achieve A Sun-Kissed Look This Summer

Dr. Omar A. Ibrahimi is the founding and medical director of the Connecticut Skin Institute. He is a board-certified Dermatologist who has completed advanced fellowship training in Skin Cancer, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Ibrahimi has trained at the most prestigious medical institutions in the country. Prior to founding the Connecticut Skin Insititute, Dr. Ibrahimi was also an Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Dermatologic Surgery and Mohs Surgery at the University of Connecticut, and served as the Director of Laser and Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Ibrahimi prides himself on treating his patients, not just their skin cancer or cosmetic concern. His goal is to provide you with the best possible medical care in a friendly environment.

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Are you looking to achieve that summertime glow quickly? Look sun-kissed year-round? But you don't have time to lay out in the sun so you resort to the tanning beds or better yet, tanning oils? Now, this is where it can get tricky.

As you may know, tanning beds are dangerous and although they might be efficient and quick, your skin is taking a hard hit on its overall health each time you indulge in these unnatural activities. To get a low down on tanning oils, tanning beds, and all the interesting ways you might try and look sun-kissed, Haute Beauty expert Dr. Omar A. Ibrahimi tells all from a skin perspective.

What is the safest way to look sun-kissed?

I would recommend using a sunless tanning cream that contains dihydroxyacetone or getting a spray tan. This is a very safe molecule that gives the appearance of a tan and actually gives you some built-in SPF protection as well.

My tanning salon says that tanning beds are safer than the sun. Is this true?

Not at all! Tanning beds use ultraviolet light, and this is part of the radiation from the sun. Regardless of the source, these ultraviolet rays damage the DNA in our skin cells and also speed the aging process up. Tanning beds increase your risk for skin cancer and will make you age prematurely!

Are tanning oils with sunblock effectively protecting your skin?

The only safe tanning products are those that are sunless tanners as above. If there is sunblock in the tanning oil then it should stop the skin from being damaged by the UV rays.

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Whether you are tanning indoors or with the sun can your skin age more quickly?

Definitely, the UV light regardless of the source breaks down collagen, damages our skin's DNA, and leads to the development of red and brown spots.

I tan really easily, so I don’t need to worry about skin cancer, right?

False. In the past year, I personally have treated skin cancer in Asian and African American patients. Too much sun damage will cause skin cancer in any ethnicity. Having darker skin protects you somewhat but intense sun exposure can still damage darker-skinned patients.

If I wear sunscreen, can I stay in the sun for as long as I want?

If you use sunscreen correctly and you re-apply it every two hours and also use other sun-protective modalities like sun hats and staying in the shade then yes.