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The Do’s and Don’ts of Getting a Summer Tan

Summer is right around the corner. If you are anything like me, you have visions of lounging by the pool in a cute little bikini. However, the first moment you reveal your “beach bod” after a long winter of too many Chic-Fil-A visits and one too many Oreos, can be traumatic, especially if you are really really pale.

But before you run to the tanning bed to get your bronze on, you should know about the lies that salons feed you about the effects of tanning. You may have heard them convince you that “you only get the good rays” from tanning beds, or that tanning indoors allows you to “get a base tan will keep you from burning.” The truth is, the UV rays exposed in tanning beds are very harmful. Here are 5 facts that will change your tanning ways forever.

1.    Tanning can be addictive. UV radiation can have a druglike effect, some people may even experience withdraw symptoms.

2.    Tanning causes the skin to lose elasticity possibly causing premature wrinkling of your skin.

3.    Exposure to UV radiation can cause irreversible damage to the eyes.

4.    Using a tanning bed before the age of 35 increases your risk of melanoma (skin cancer) by 75 percent.

5.    Out of the 68,000 Americans who will learn they have melanoma this year, one out of eight will die from it.

Now that you are officially scared of ever fake baking again, do you just have to go through life pale and miserable? Don’t worry, there is still hope for all of us.

One alternative to faking that flawless glow is a self-applied lotion. Jergens and Neutrogena make a natural looking tan lotion that is developed gradually with use. If applied evenly, you can have a perfect tan in about a week. Just make sure you wash your hands after application to avoid unsightly orange hands! That is a dead giveaway of a fake tan.

Another option is to get a spray tan. If done correctly at a professional place, this can look just as good as a real tan. But make sure you don’t get a shade that is too dark! No one wants to come out looking like an oompa loompa.

The best way to get that natural tan you’re looking for is to do some good old-fashioned laying out. Not drenched in UV attracting tanning oil, but with a good sunscreen with reasonable SPF coverage. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the average person should wear anything between 30 to 50 SPF. 

So get out there my fellow collegiettes™ and get your tan on (the fun and safe way)!




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