She's been the brunt of late night talk show jokes and the center of criticism for her parenting skills. But now the New Jersey mom accused of taking her six-year-old daughter tanning with her could be starting a wildfire of legislation that would ban anyone under 18 from entering a tanning salon. Forty-four-year-old Patricia Krentcil is being called a tanorexic for her apparent addiction to the tanning salon. She pleaded not guilty to child endangerment charges but her scorched appearance is leaving many people to wonder if there are better alternatives for getting a golden glow. And experts agree - yes there are.
Mystic Tan Perfect Tan Kit, $54
You no longer have to wait for summer to get your glow. You can have it year-around with the help of the three-step Mystic Tan Perfect Tan Kit. It's $54 at Beauty.com. And unlike those potentially damaging tanning bed bulbs, this product contains antioxidant botanicals that will actually improve the health of your skin.
SheerTan Sunless Spray Tan, $39.99
Spray tans are a popular alternative to tanning beds. Most of the time you must go to a salon to get a spray tan. A trained worker applies the product to your entire face and body in a sheer mist. But there is an at-home version that could save you time and money. The SheerTan Sunless Spray Tan starter kit is just $39.99. It gives you the look of a spray tan at a fraction of the cost. And you don't have to go to a salon to get it.
The downfall of sunless tanners can be the fact that they aren't always even. When apply lotions and sprays sometimes certain body parts end up with more color than others. That's why L'oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes are a great go-to for a golden glow. Wipe the towelette anywhere you want a tan and your skin will darken within an hour. They're especially great if you're on vacation or need a quick color boost before taking off your swimsuit coverup.
Neutrogena MicroMist Airbrush Sunless Tanning Spray, $9.92
Avoid the tanning bed's harmful rays-- and the sun's for that matter-- by soaking up some safe color at home. Another low-cost alternative to a salon spray tan is the Neutrogena MicroMist Airbrush Sunless Tanning Spray, available at Walmart.com. For less than $10 you can go three shades darker.
Walgreens Body Bronzing Stick, $6.99
For commitment phobics, the Walgreens Body Bronzing Stick could be the way to go. There's nothing permanent about this tan. Rub it on your face, neck and body to get a fresh-from-the-beach glow. But then you can simply wash it off at the end of the day with soap and water. Just remember to avoid contact with fabric until it's absorbed.
Don't Forget Sunscreen
While these affordable self-tanning options will keep you out from under the tanning bed bulbs, you'll still probably find yourself in the sun. Keep in mind that these products do not contain sunscreen. That means you'll have to apply SPF to protect your skin from UV rays. While a tan can help you look healthy and more fit, wrinkly, sun-damaged skin is never in style.