Students invest in tanning alternatives

While April showers might bring May flowers, they certainly don’t guarantee sunny, warm temperatures. For many students who are more than anxious for the sun to come around and stay around, tanning becomes a part of their regular routine.Floridatans.com

Several tanning methods exist, and depending on personal preference, some are healthier than others.

The three most popular ways to tan are by making use of the natural sun, utilizing a tanning bed or the recently popular spray or “mystic” tan.

Mystic tanning is exactly as it sounds – a tan obtained through mist. The process is simple: customers enter a shower-like setup and are immediately infused with heat to make the environment and their skin comfortable. After one’s skin is comfortably heated, the mystic spray commences. After a part of the body is sprayed, a giant dryer then seals that part of the tan and then the rotation begins.

Courtney Wurst, a junior secondary education/English major, said she tried a spray tan for the first time a couple of weeks ago after purchasing a package that included three spray tans.

Wurst said she thought it was convenient and economical.

“It only takes like five minutes, and it turned out really well,” she said. “It was cheaper for me to try this out than to get my usual tanning package.”

Wurst said that upon stepping into the mystic tanning booth, she was given instructions on what to do and how the mystic experience would work.

“It was really cool, because there were computer screens in the booth that tell you when to rotate,” she said. “You rotate a total of four times for a perfectly even tan.”

Wurst said that she definitely enjoyed the spray tan experience because it felt healthier to her.

“It was nice to not feel like I was baking in a microwave,” she said. “And I didn’t feel gross walking out of the mystic tanning booth like I do when I leave a tanning bed. I’m definitely doing it again.”

Wurst said she was also glad that she didn’t have to worry about turning orange, something that is a common concern for those interested in trying a spray tan.

“The employee working at the salon had me apply lotion to my feet, my hands and in between my nails and all my cuticles,” she said. “Sometimes, the spray material can clump up and dry, which is why people end up orange. But I didn’t have to worry about that.”

Each spray tan experience is unique to the customers, as they can customize their tan, even down to the scent. “Build Glow” leaves customers with a nice summer glow. “Build Light” leaves customers one to three shades darker than their natural skin tone. “Build Medium” produces results two to four shades darker than their natural skin tone, and “Build Dark” leaves customers three to five shades darker than they walked into the booth.

While some are open to the experience of spray tanning, others are waiting to use it as a final alternative.

Kaitlin Musloe, a junior legal studies and business administration major, said she has been using tanning beds since she was 15 years old, and will only try spray tanning if she absolutely has to.

“My mom tanned my whole life, so I grew up thinking that tanning was the only way to look pretty,” she said.

Musloe said she just got used to tanning after doing it on a regular routine.

“I’ve been tanning for a good chunk of my life, and I don’t feel confident about myself if I’m not tan,” she said.

Musloe said that during the winter, she visits a tanning salon twice a week. In the summer and spring, she goes tanning four times a week.

While Musloe said she’s aware of the dangers of using a tanning bed, especially on such a consistent basis, she only plans on trying other methods if she were to find out that she got a cancerous spot.

“I know that even if I do try spray tanning, I’ll still like tanning beds better,” she said. “It’s just a natural routine for me.”

Prices for both spray tanning and solarium tanning are dependent on the number of sessions you wish to utilize.

This said, they could very well end up being the same price, as spray tans don’t last as long a traditional tan. The prices even out to be about the same.

For those looking to change up their tanning experience, or those who are trying to save some money and still glow, consider mystic tanning as a healthy alternative. It may not last as long as a solarium tan, but it will still give you what you need without the bake and the burn.

JANAE BUTLER

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