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The safe way to win a bronze medal

WITH summer looming, a lot of people are going for bronze. Sleeveless and strapless dress, skirts, shorts, bikinis are all the rage and the tanning salons in the city are much in demand.

"It's not a season that embraces paleness. It's time for shorts and swimsuits and a tan," says Hu Ping, beauty manager at Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreat's Xinle branch.

"For me a tanned skin always looks fresh and healthy. Tanning is not merely about turning bronze. It creates a fresh lifestyle choice."

Western celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Victoria Beckham have reminded the world of the charm of a natural-looking bronze, and tanning now is more accepted in big Chinese cities like Shanghai. It is all about looking healthy. Summer is definitely the season for it.

With more and more local people going for indoor tanning at tanning salons for a variety of reasons, Hu has witnessed a growing demand for accessories, from tanning lotions to goggles.

Tanning accessories can be about ease or comfort. But one tanning accessory is simply about essential safety, that is, eyewear.

"You should always make sure you have quality goggles. They can be disposable or a permanent pair for yourself," she says.

"Shutting your eyes during tanning is not good enough. Having no protection is just asking for damaged eyes. Goggles come in a variety of colors and shapes. The most important thing is to find a pair that fits your face snugly."

Since tanning is largely about relaxation and a love of beauty, you really want to be as comfortable as possible.

A lot of people today listen to music while on the tanning bed. A quality pair of earphones is a great way to start, Hu says.

"There is an audio system that offers perfectly reproduced stereo at our tanning beds. MP3 players can be brought to the bed as well," Hu says. "Although the tanning time is short, ranging from eight to 15 minutes, music can make the process more individualistic."

The beauty salon where Hu works is highlighted by an Ergoline Sunrise 480 upright tanning bed, featuring 48 tubes and an "Aquafresh" system that provides a soothing mist during or after tanning.

Ergoline from Germany is one of global leaders in providing enjoyable, safe and hygienic tanning equipment.

The tanning bed also features a cooling ventilation system, which stops the skin feeling overheated.

There are always questions as to whether self-tanning actually damages the skin.

Zheng Jie, director of Ruijin Hospital's Dermatology Department, says a safe tanning process is vital as tanning can cause skin aging and skin cancer if not handled improperly.

"Remember to consult a physician before using a sunlamp, if you are using medication or have a history of skin problems or believe you have sensitivity to sunlight," Zheng says.

"Since repeated exposure may cause permanent aging of skin and skin cancer, it is necessary to avoid overexposure."

To get an even and safe tan, pre-tan and after-tan moisturizing is important as well. To achieve a safe tan, expert supervision is recommended.


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