Indoor tanning salons are just as popular as fast food restaurants in some cities. They promise the bronzed beauty that comes with a great tan. I am guilty of baking myself in tanning beds for years. I would listen to the teenage girl that worked at the tanning salon tell me how the UVA rays from the beds were safe and it was even smart to get a base tan in the summer to help protect my skin from the Sun. I knew better than to believe all this nonsense, but I just wanted to look tan. Now, I am older and wiser, but I have awful sun damage as a result of my poor tanning decisions. I no longer tan and am diligent about wearing proper SPF. I wish I knew all the harmful effects that I know now.
Here is some real and true information about tanning beds. UVA rays are not safe. In fact UVA rays penetrate deeper into your skin, cause melanoma and premature aging. A typical tanning bed emits about 95% UVA rays and about 5% UVB rays. The UVA rays from a tanning bed are 12 times stronger than what we are exposed to from the Sun. The reason for this is because UVA rays make the skin darker faster. They also cause sagging skin, skin cancer and eye damage, including ocular melanoma (eye cancer). This information was never mentioned while I was shelling out money for my tanning service. I wish I knew that just one tanning session increased my chances of getting melanoma by 20%. And each additional session within that year tacked on another 2% risk. Tanning beds have been moved to “carcinogenic to humans” category which is the highest risk category for cancer. Shockingly, there are more cases of cancer due to indoor tanning than cases of lung cancer due to smoking (study by JAMA dermatology). No, tan is worth the risk. There are plenty of great self-tanners available now that are a safe alternative to tanning. Your future, older self will thank you! A couple of our staff favorites are Kate Somerville360 Body Self Tanning Towelettes and Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Blow Pads.
You can find the products mentioned on SkinStore.com.