Sunless tanning grows in popularity

By By Anna Kartashova

By Anna Kartashova

As the weather warms up, some people feel the need to bronze their pale arms and legs.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 28 million Americans are tanning?indoors annually at about 25,000 tanning salons around the country.

?”The time of the year that we have the most clients is March through June,” said George Papadopoulos, the owner of European Tanning chain salons.

According to the foundation, overexposure to UV rays is thought to induce skin cancers by damaging the DNA, which leads to localized immunosuppression-blocking the body’s natural anti-cancer defenses. Overexposure can also cause premature skin aging and wrinkling.

To avoid the potential dangers of traditional tanning methods, however, tanning-salon clients are starting to choose a sunless spray-on tan that is 100 percent ultraviolet ray-free and causes no damage to the skin.

The client enters a private booth and gets sprayed by a solution that contains dihydroxyacetone, which reacts with proteins in the skin’s superficial layer and forms a golden brown color. The skin darkens a few hours after the solution is applied and reaches its peak 24 hours later, with the color fading within a week

One trend Papadopoulos has noticed is the increasing number of male clients in particular, who now comprise 40 percent of his clientele.

“(Men tanning is) OK as long as they don’t take more time getting pretty than I do,” said Sabina Imanbekova, a junior biology major.