It’s that time of year again where classes are starting to wind down and the weather is so nice that every minute spent indoors feels like time wasted. It’s also prime shorts and tank top season, and if you’re like me, you want to rock a perfectly bronze tan with those new high-waisted shorts. Unfortunately, just sitting out in the sun doesn’t give us that color that we’re looking for. Many women these days are turning to tanning beds to give them that perfect summer glow that they’re looking for. However, there are many dangers now associated with going to a tanning bed, which leads me to ask the question, “is it really worth it?”
People are using tanning beds more frequently than ever before; over 2.5 million teens will go tanning every year. One of the main dangers of this is that a tanning bed exposes you to both UV-A and UV-B rays and a total of 15 times more UV radiation than the sun. This can damage your skin and eventually lead to skin cancer. UV-A rays can damage your cell’s DNA at the exact place where melanoma begins. UV-B rays increase your chance of getting melanoma as well as other types of skin cancer.
Melanoma is the deadliest from of skin cancer, and those who visit a tanning bed once a month before the age of 35 increase their chance of getting melanoma by 75%. A common misconception is that you have to be burned, but all it takes is takes is a tan. Tan skin is damaged skin.
Spray tanning is a safe alternative to using a tanning bed. If you are going to give spray tanning a try, here are a few things to remember:
· You can’t have lotion or makeup on prior to getting your spray tan
· Wait 10-12 hours after getting your tan to shower
· Avoid sweating, swimming, getting wet, and exercising until your first shower to avoid streaks
· Wait at least one day after getting your spay tan before going in the sun
· Remember to moisturize, this will help your tan last longer than the typical 4-8 day period and make it fade evenly
· Your face will fade faster than the rest of your body
· Avoid face washes that contain salicylic and benzoyl because these will make your tan fade more quickly
Using a self tanning lotion or a spray is another alternative to tanning beds. When using these products remember to have a friend help you get those hard-to-reach spots so your tan doesn’t come out blotchy. Here are few different self tanners to try:
We all want that perfect sun-kissed look, but it’s important to stay safe. Before heading straight to the tanning bed, consider the risks and give alternative methods a shot. There is no sun tan that is worth skin cancer.