TAHOE, Calif. - Everyone loves to have a golden tan. How nice would it be to have it all year long with out the harmful effects of the sun's UV rays? Being tan can boost your confidence and even make you feel "healthy," but with all the high risks of skin cancer from the sun's UV rays, having a tan is just not safe. Even worse, tanning beds have been known to have a higher risk of being "carcinogenic to humans." In our modern age maybe it's good time to consider another method of tanning. Airbrush tanning is a quick and easy alternative to keep your tan all year without the harmful effects of UV rays.Airbrush tanning is about a 15-20 minute session performed by a trained technician. The technician sprays a special tanning solution all over the client's body. The tanning solution is safe and contains a chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which causes the outer cells of the skin to darken. The solution will continue to develop in color over the next 6-8 hours. There are some solutions that set in two hours for the person that needs to shower right away. Bronzers and gold shimmer can be added to the solution to give an instant glow. The airbrush tan will last about 5-7 days and is not absorbed into the body.Exposing the skin to UV rays, whether from a tanning bed or direct sun rays, can cause burning and eventually lead to skin cancer. Sun damage is the No. 1 cause of aging skin. Use of a good SPF is the best anti-aging preventative care for skin. That does not mean one cannot still have a glow as if he/she has been at the beach all week. Airbrush tanning does not have harmful UV rays to cause skin aging, it is safe and gives an instant tan once applied to the skin. One airbrush application is equivalent to six tanning bed sessions, thus making airbrush tanning more economical and a convenient tanning method. Some tips to consider before getting an airbrush tan are; to shower, remove any lotions or perfumes, remove deodorant, exfoliate the skin, and shave any areas needed. Lotions, perfumes, etc. will act as a barrier against the solution and the skin will not tan properly. During the tan session, it is recommended to wear dark, loose clothing. Underwear or bathing suits are recommended to cover any areas of the skin not intended to be tan. Immediately after tanning, try not to sweat excessively or wear light/tight fitted clothing as the solution can stain and rub off onto the clothing. To prolong the tan, moisturize twice a day and try not to over exfoliate the skin. Remember, the tanned surface is still susceptible to the sun's harmful UV rays, an SPF is still recommended before sun exposure. It is truly possible to have a healthy glow all year long without harmful side effects. A golden tan is only a phone call away. It is time to make an appointment! - Bethany Lambrecht is a co-owner, LMT, and esthetician at North Lake Massage & Skin Care, 6921 North Lake Blvd., Ste. 111, Tahoe Vista. Call 530-546-4885.