Before we touch on the coffin that is a tanning bed, here’s a little history on tanning. There once was a time where women would paint their faces with Arsenic and skin whiteners because fair skin was valued. That of course was before our time that no one would think of doing such awful things, let alone, us beauty junkies. Then along came French Designer, Coco Chanel who was seen in 1923, leaving a yacht with a gorgeous tan after cruising from Paris to Cannes. This set the trend and it was all downhill from there. The 50’s brought the bikinis and the all over bronze beauty look became even more popular. With that, tanning creams and dyes were born. Natural tans were pretty much restricted to the summer months (unless you can take off to Florida or the Caribbean for the weekend in your posh private jet) and tighter schedules in the 80’s and 90’s put a strain on having the time to actually lay out and tan. Because of demand, the cancer in a box tanning bed was born, and sprung up everywhere, shortening tanning time, and spreading cancer, one salon at a time.
I know that I’ve done my fair share of tanning, and being a California girl, I can’t help but enjoy the beach every now and then. Tanning is going to happen! Unless we completely cover up every part of our skin with clothes, we can’t avoid the sun entirely and personally, I love to feel the sun shining down on me. Now, we all know that UVA, UVB and ultraviolet radiation are terrible and raise your cancer risk tremendously. But people are still using tanning beds everyday and the risk and dangers are played down to every consumer using them.
How dangerous are they?
USA Today’s article on tanning beds gives it to us pretty straight forward. After many studies, International Cancer experts have moved tanning beds into the top cancer risk category. Ultraviolet radiation is carcinogenic, and guess what ladies? If you start using a tanning bed before age 30, your 75% more at risk for skin cancer! This new classification puts tanning beds alongside tobacco and hepatitis B as top causes of cancer. And not only do they cause skin cancer but they also cause eye cancer. Skin and eye cancer rates are now the highest in people in their 20’s and 30’s. Yikes! It’s just a little sad that instead of learning and enjoying life, we are wasting our time in an ultraviolet coffin trying to bronze our skin. To impress who?
Beautyfix Panelist, Dr. Stuart Kaplan, gave me some insight on why tanning is so bad for your skin:
There is no such thing as a safe tan. People who start tanning when they are young, or get sunburned frequently, have a higher risk of malignant melanoma later in life.
In a study published in October 2008, researchers found that one-third of health officials in states with indoor tanning laws said they did not inspect tanning salons, while another third of the states inspected tanning salons less than once a year.
Without proper inspections, the tanning booths themselves cannot be physically calibrated to measure the amount of UV radiation the machines emit. Also, the lack of inspections prevents salons having to show parental consents that would be required for minors receiving tans.
It is important to understand the effects of UV radiation are cumulative, and the more UV radiation you can avoid now, the more you decrease your risk of getting skin cancer later in life.
Plain and simple: Ultraviolet rays either from a tanning bed or the sun are not healthy and will never be. And they are so mid 90’s.
Regardless, I love to be sun kissed and have that beautiful glow, but lesson learned, I’ll be faking it and getting it from self tanners and bronzers. Here’s a couple that I’ve tried that do the job wonderfully. Oh and don’t forget your SPF!
Bella Bronze has an amazing Mediterranean recipe in their Golden Chamomile & Goat’s Milk Self Tanner for face and body. After applying, a streak-less, sun-free tan emerges after 2-3 hours.
Coppertone’s Gradual Tan gives you streak free, hints of color and progresses day by day without clogging your pores. It also dries fast and can be applied as your lotion every day.
Coola Organic Sunscreen has a great SPF 45 for your body and it’s made with 15 certified organic extracts. It’s also got a heavenly mango smell, is sweat resistant and doesn’t leave you oily after application.
So you tell me, will you still be fake and baking?