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Why Colleges Need to Stop Marketing Tanning Beds to Students ASAP

We all know and love the benefits that come with fall. Cooler weather, sweaters, and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING. But with the colder weather comes the inevitable paler skin, a factor that in turn causes a large portion of college age girls to do anything to get that enviable bronzed glow back. Unfortunately, this can mean heading to tanning beds.

Today, the majority of college living apartments and communities include gyms, which can unfortunately also offer other amenities such as tanning beds. Just last week, a spokesperson for a local gym came to talk during my sororitys’ weekly chapter meeting, hyping up the benefits of using their gym which included- you guessed it- tanning beds. Women’s Health magazine writes that tanning beds might as well be coffins, due to research that they are to blame for the alarming spike among you women in lethal melanoma cases- the second most common cancer in adults under 30. 

                                                                              (Photo: Rob Engelhardt, usatoday.com)

Growing up, I watched my mom (a California native), head to the dermatologist monthly to get checked for skin cancer after years of excessive tanning both outside and in tanning beds. Not only do tanning beds put you at an alarmingly high risk for skin cancer, they also stimulate premature skin aging, causing wrinkles and spots to appear. Dr. Vasum Peiris, from the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health warns that “the exposure from tanning beds is 10-15 times more intense than that of the midday sun.” Because of this, Dr. Peris warns that this exposure “can lead to sunburns, premature aging and an increased risk of blinding eye disease.”

So the next time you’re craving that sun kissed look, make sure to skip the beds and hit the spray tans. Your future self will thank you. 

Wellsley Kesel is a third year journalism student at The University of Georgia. She is a major advocate for healthy living and hopes to one day become a health or lifestyle writer for a high-profile magazine. When she's not writing for Her Campus, you can find her at the gym, scouring Pinterest for fashion and clean eating inspo, and stalking goldendoodle instagram accounts. Find her on instagram @wellsley.j for a peek into her life adventures!
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