Reflective tanning blankets – Should you use them?

Reflective tanning blankets are used to tan the hard to reach areas in the body, however achieving a perfect skin tan is next to impossible; but people can still adopt different tanning method for a flawless tan. What a reflective blanket does is that it attracts the sun’s rays to your body and then reflects back the rays to your skin.

If you decide to use the tanning blankets then you can keep off other tanning products such as the spray and lotion tans. The blankets are multi-functional and can, therefore, be used while lying out in the beach or by the poolside. They constitute a silver material, which is very reflective to the naked eye and are stretched out on the sun beds to function properly.

People with fair skin can keep off the blankets unless they want to damage it, the tanning blankets tend to entice huge amounts of Ultra Violet rays that are harmful. Other individuals with dark or medium skin can however, use the blanket.

Men rarely tan their bodies, not that they don’t but you will not find them lying on the beach to tan often, women on the other hand, love tanning their body to achieve the Coco Chanel look. Now let’s get some facts straight concerning the use of reflective tanning blankets. Many women have never put serious thoughts on what the sunray does to the skin.

Tanning in direct sunlight has a lot of harmful consequences; one is that it will dehydrate your skin, and this will lead to your skin looking dull, and the fine lines will become more visible. The skin will then become dry and you might even start scratching, worse still is that your skin complexion will appear uneven.

And those are the reasons as to why you should carry with you a bottle of fresh water to the beach; drinking water will help hydrate your body and consequently your skin such that when you are done with the tanning your skin will project a supple look. Reflective tanning blankets, on the other hand, are believed to regulate your body temperatures and keep it cool.

When your skin is cool, the pores are prone to expand and sweat is let out and as they evaporate off the skin, your body is protected from overheating, which is the major cause of dehydration. So your tanning session is most likely to be successful by using the reflective tanning blanket as compared to sun tanning.

How effective are the reflective tanning blankets on your skin

There are three things at play here, your skin the sun and the reflective tanning blanket. So let us discuss the long term effects of the sun when it hits your skin before passing through the tanning blanket to reflect back onto your skin.

Remember the purpose of the tanning blanket is to reflect more than the normal amount of rays on your skin, to help tan you faster. So tanning your skin without the increased intensity of the reflective blanket will lead to the development of sunburns, skin cancer, your immune system will be suppressed and your skin will toughen and wrinkle.

Other acute effects of exposure include eye injuries such as corneal burns, cataracts, photoconjuctivitis, and photokeratitis. Achieving the summer tan is a dream to many women but how do you plan on going about it, do you weigh your options and are there any side effects. Some people will lay in the sun for prolonged hours just to achieve the perfect look.

But that too will be costly, prolonged exposure to UV light leads to abnormalities in the structure of your DNA in the skin cells, worse more is that there could be mutations, which will no doubt interfere with how the cell division occurs.

This will then lead to the development of an inoperable tumor-suppressing gene, therefore, the UV-A and the UV-B will damage your skin and increase your chances of getting cancer via the photochemical damage. Young girls below the age of 18 are at a greater risk of suffering from the above ailments, likewise to those under 39years of age.

Therefore, when you use a reflective tanning blanket not only are you exposed to the sun’s UV rays but also to the increased intensity of the tanning blanket. Your skin will, of course, turn faster given the intensity, but it will also get damaged as fast.

Are Reflective Blankets readily available?

Well, not really, though if your comb through the online stores you might be lucky to bump on a few reflective towels and blankets. The reason might be because people became informed about the effects of sun tanning, not to mention the inclusion of the reflective blankets and their production might have hit a snag.

A good number of individuals in recent times opt to use the self tanners that they can wear at night and be ready to glow in the morning, while others only need at least 3 hours before they are ready to hit the road. The tanners do not depend on the sun for acceleration or to achieve the perfect look.

Do’s and Don’t of Reflective blankets

A moist skin with a reflective blanket will no doubt work wonders for your skin but how healthy is the procedure. Not long ago ladies were fond of using baby oil to accelerate the tanning process, the oil is known to enhance the sun’s rays but be rest assured that your skin will be baking. So you might want to brace yourself for some serious sunburns.

Pale skin should not be exposed to the reflected rays of a reflective tanning blanket, because the damage to their skin will as well be accelerated, but individuals with dark or medium skin could try out the blankets.

Since the sun tends to be too hot during the midday, you might try to use the reflective tanning blanket in the evening, when the rays are a little bit mild but remember that would mean that your tanning session will take longer than expected. But what’s the hurry when you will be protecting your skin.

Another method that you can adopt to avoid damage from the reflective blanket is by engaging in short tanning sessions. Although a lot of time and commitment will be needed, it is a better option than knowingly causing irreversible damage to your otherwise healthy skin.

Given the effects of the sun, adopting a sunscreen for your tanning sessions with the reflective blanket will help prevent damage on your skin but at the same time achieve the summer tan, though not as deep as you might have wanted.

What other tanning options do you have?

According to the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermtology, people who love tanning their body can use the Topical Sunless tanners. They come in different forms and are applied to the body, you will mostly find them in the form of mousses, lotions, gels,  creams, sprays, wipes and even powders. There are also the temporary bronzers available in powders, creams, and lotions.

Bronzers work by coating the outer part of the epidermis, these type of tan are easy to use because you can just wear them like makeup in the morning and wash them off in the evening. They come in different qualities as manufacturers are many including fake products that might leave you with streak marks or dirty your clothes.

Some of the ingredients that you need to watch out for before you get your bronzer are jojoba extract, caramel, and walnut oil extract. Take care not to submerge yourself in water for long if you are wearing a bronzer or avoid situations that will make you sweat too much, also do not scratch or skin scrub.

Topical self-tanners on the other hand are made with the dihydroxyacetone (DHA),  which is a sugar molecule derived from plants. When it reacts with amino acids it produces a pigment when in contact with the skin.  The use of DHA  in the skin takes about four hours maximum for the tanning process to start and may last well over 72hours.

The good thing about DHA is that it is resistant to water and sweat exposure, so this means you can enjoy the summer tan for a couple of days, after which it will start to fade. Exfoliate your skin, shave or even wax before you put on your tan, as it will enhance the application and ensure an even tan.

There are also the tanning pills, and you can find them from online vendors. The pills are manufactured using canthaxanthin, the active ingredient has been approved by the FDA but in small quantities and is mainly used in food as a coloring agent. So when you ingest canthaxanthin, it will be deposited in the subcutaneous fat and the epidermis achieving an orange-brown color in the skin.

However, Canthaxanthin in tanning pills has to be ingested in large quantities to achieve a favorable look, a thing that FDA is totally against as it has some serious side effects.