Getting A Tan Without The Sun

Web Producer: Jason Beisel

You may have tried those quick tan products back in the seventies and thought, never again!

Now sunless tanners have come a long way. Both in how they work and how they're used. So it may be time to give them a second look.

To the dismay of the health team, Newswatch at 5:00 p.m. Producer Celeste King won't stay out of the tanning beds. "It's just not cool to be pale. Everyone wants a tan. I just think everyone looks more healthy when they have a tan," King says.

So we asked her to try out a sunless alternative, tanning pills. They contain natural carotene, the same substance that gives carrots their color. "I'll try them. Hopefully, I won't be orange," King says.

Lindsy Wildt used to worship the sun too, but now prefers the airbrush tanning offered at Resultz Fitness Center. It's a new way to administer what comes in the bottle. The sunless tanners contain the active ingredient dihydroxyacetone or D.H.A.

D.H.A is a colorless sugar that interacts with protein in the dead cells of the outer layer of the skin causing it to darken. The color fades as the dead skin cells are naturally sloughed off. With the airbrushing technique, you don't have to worry about streaks or other tell-tale signs of self-tanning. "It allows for more angles to be covered for the inner most part of the thigh," Troy Peachee of Resultz Personal Fitness says.

It only takes ten minutes, and the color lasts up to ten days. "I like the look of it better, and it looks totally different than what you get in the tanning bed," Wildt says.

"It's just like painting a car or painting a house. If you want to get a nice and even coat and that's basically what you're doing with these things. They should be safe. We don't know of any problems as long as people aren't allergic to the product which is pretty uncommon," Dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey Moore says.

Taken in moderation, he says the tanning pills appear safe too. "If it gives you a little bit of color and you're not overdoing it than I'd rather have someone doing that than going out in the sun a whole lot," Dr. Moore says.

Celeste took two pills a day at mealtime. A week later,"I've been looking everyday, taking the pills. No difference," Celeste says. She says she'll keep trying until the bottle's empty in pursuit of that perfect summer tan.

The company who makes this product says its research shows a 17% improvement in the golden tones of the skin when this product was taken for four weeks. So we'll let you know if Celeste has any more luck down the road.

The tanning pills cost $17 a bottle. The airbrush tanning is $30 dollars a session, but if you buy a package of five or ten sessions you get a discount.

Airbrush tanning is available at Resultz Personal Fitness, 345 Bentee Wes Court, Evansville.  One session is $30, five sessions is $125, and 10 sessions are $200.  Call (812) 471-9590 to make an appointment.

Elsun self-tanning supplements are available on their website.