The sun is bad. Spend too much time in it without protection and you’ll definitely get wrinkles and maybe get cancer. The dangers of the sun’s rays have been coming at us from every direction and SPF is showing up in everything from super-strength sunblock products to facial moisturizers, makeup, and even lip sticks and gloss. So why then, with all this awareness and prevention all around, are skin cancer rates going up?
The answer is simple: indoor tanning. Tanning beds have made it possible to look glowing and bronzed year round, with no sunny beach or spare hours needed for laying out, and women have flocked to the convenience of fake baking in droves. Some think it’s safer, some rationalize it’s the ‘lesser of two evils,’ and others are just outright addicted, but regardless of the excuse it seems all the wrinkle warnings and cancer threats are falling on deaf ears when it comes to tanning. Women are wearing more sunhats, applying more sunscreen, and getting fewer sunburns, but after all that they’re still tanning as much ever. More even. TANNING CAUSES CANCER. Plain and simple. Tanning beds give you a different arrangement of UV rays than natural sunlight but UV rays are UV rays and the tan itself is proof that you’ve damaged your skin and are at increased risk for cancer. Fun fact: The UV light that causes skin to tan also damages DNA at a rate of up to 40,000 DNA errors per hour. Your skin cells catch and repair most of those but they don’t always get them all.
There is no such thing as a safe ‘real’ tan. Self-tanning products are improving all the time (many of them no longer streak or leave that tell-tale smell behind) and of course natural healthy skin is always beautiful, even if it is really white. Looking unhealthy and damaged has never been attractive so believe me, tans are on their way out — be a trend-setter and show off your healthy white self proudly!