Most people tan because they want a healthy glow, but tanning beds are anything but healthy. The Food and Drug Administration recently proposed a nationwide ban on indoor tanning for people under the age of 18. Exposure to UV light can build up over time and a recent study showed that exposure from artificial sources is more damaging and more likely to cause melanoma when started at young ages. The FDA would also require adults to sign a document acknowledging they understand the health risks of using tanning beds. The action is intended to help protect young people from a known and preventable cause of skin cancer and other harms that tanning beds produce.
In a recent review of 88 international studies on indoor tanning, it was estimated that tanning beds account for as many as 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States each year, including 6,000 cases of melanoma, the deadliest form. It was also found that indoor tanning before age 24 increases one’s risk of developing basal skin carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer. And those that use tanning beds before the age of 30 increase their lifetime risk of melanoma by 75%. The exposure from tanning beds is 10-15 times more intense than that of the midday sun.
Not only do you risk the chance of skin cancer, but indoor tanning also changes your skin texture, increases the risk of potentially blinding eye disease (is protection is not used) and causes premature aging, like wrinkles and age spots. A tan isn’t worth the wrinkles later in life! If you can’t be without your bronze glow, there are many healthy options for a natural-looking tan.
- Self-tanner. The options for self tanner are endless. It can be overwhelming when you are trying to find out what type you should choose. Find a self-tanner that is best for your skin type and needs.
- Spray tan. Many individuals prefer this as a hassle-free method of gaining a tan that lasts for about a week. Spray tans are achieved by using an airbrush to paint on a tan.
- Bronzer. This is a great way to provide a sun-kissed glow to your face. Although it is the least effective way to achieve a tan, it can be applied last minute or for an additional effect.