Dr. Dennis Gross Glow Pads

Dr. Dennis Gross Glow Pads will sell in individually wrapped packs of 20. Courtesy photo.

Starting this spring, scoring a safe tan doesn't have to mean sacrificing the Vitamin D benefits that come with sun exposure.

Dr. Dennis Gross, the dermatologist who brought the beauty world the first at-home chemical peel in 1999 under his then-named MD Skincare line, is introducing a new tanning pad that boasts both alpha-hydroxy-acid exfoliation and a large dose of Vitamin D in a vegan and paraben-free formula.

With more Americans becoming deficient in Vitamin D because of sun avoidance and protection practices, Gross says it's an essential nutrient for both immune health and a physically attractive glow.

"Vitamin D has been shown to release preformed melanin in the skin, which the body always keeps in reserve to protect you from sun," said Gross, of the pigment that colors skin.

"That's why even just using Vitamin D in and of itself will give skin a glow," continued Gross.

During the doctor's presentation breakfast at New York's Peels restaurant, Gross focused on the ties between Vitamin D levels and the body's overall health.

While 56 percent of skin cancer patients test deficient in Vitamin D, low levels of the nutrient are also strongly associated with diseases as diverse as osteoporosis, depression, diabetes and chronic fatigue.

"Flu season may exist during the cold months, because of a relationship to lower levels of Vitamin D, which people otherwise have higher levels of during the warm weather months when they're exposed to sunlight," said Gross.

The infection-fighting power of Vitamin D can also be seen in treating acne and reducing the look of wrinkles, according to Gross.

Launching in April -- but with a presale starting now to ship in February -- the Alpha Beta Glow Pad contains active Vitamin D, as well as, microencapsulated DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) and soy protein to drive the tanning pigments deeper into the skin for a longer-lasting tan.

Alpha and beta hydroxy acids are also included to exfoliate, tighten pores and treat blackheads in what Gross claims is the first antiaging, exfoliating sunless tanner on the market.

Sold in portable and separately sealed packets, 20 pads will sell for $32, with your final color determined by how many times you run the pad over the skin.

For just a light kiss of bronze, it's recommended you pass the pad over one to two times; for deeper results, stroke on several times, until the pad is dry.

We're already getting ready for our close-up, doctor.

And for the latest in tanning that also tones your legs, check out our before and after photos using Karin Herzog's newest product.