To Tan or Not to Tan? That is the Question!

By on 08/25/2015
tanning under the sun

is tanning okThere is no doubt that the beautiful look of bronze,sun-kissed skin is always on trend and compliments every face and look quite well…

but, is it worth it?

Is tanning, whether in a tanning bed or outside under the sun, recommended by beauty and health experts?


Let’s break this down, shall we?

Tanning Salons

tanning salon

Pros of going to a tanning salon:

  • You can go any time you please, regardless of weather.
  • It usually takes 15 minutes or less, for a perfectly balanced, all-over tan.
  • As long as you follow the recommendations of the employees at the salon, your chances of getting a burn are slim.

Cons of going to a tanning salon:

  • It can be costly, ranging anywhere from $8-15 per tan. To maintain a good tan, it is recommended you go twice a week, which adds up to $64-120 a month!
  • Your risks of skin cancer increase drastically when you go to a tanning bed. The amount of UVA and UVB exposure you get far exceeds what is safe, and multiple studies have shown tanning beds are a huge factor in increased cancer risks, including deadly melanoma.
  • If your eye-wear fails, or you forget to protect your eyes even one time, they are at an increased risk of developing cataracts and corneal burns from exposure to the concentrated UVA and UVB rays.
  • It ages your skin. Exposure to ultraviolet rays over time causes your skin to become leathery and wrinkly, an effect known as “photo aging.” Unfortunately, this damage is not always reversible.

So while you may have a beautiful tan for a little while… in a short time you will have wrinkly, leathery skin and you will also be at an increased risk of cancer for the rest of your life, even if you later quit the tanning salon… the risk is still there!

Final judgement: NO! Tanning at a salon is NOT worth it. It visually damages your skin, breaks the bank and worst of all, drastically increases your cancer risk!

Tanning in the Sun

tanning under the sun

Ok, well what about a more natural approach to achieving that sun-kissed look and only tanning outside, under the sun?

Pros of tanning outside:

  • It’s free!
  • It can be more fun as you can make it a social thing and lay out with a friend by the pool or at the beach.
  • Unless you stare directly at the sun, your eyes are at less of a risk of developing cataracts or corneal burns.
  • Your exposure to damaging UVA rays is less.

Cons of tanning outside:

  • It can be easier to burn since your exposure to UV rays isn’t as controlled and you are usually outdoors longer.
  • Even though it is less than tanning beds, your risk of skin cancer also increases along with how often you expose your skin to the sun, because you are still exposing yourself to UV rays even if they are less concentrated.
  • Your skin will still age. The effects will be slower to take hold since your exposure is less concentrated, but the sun’s damage over time will still cause wrinkles, leathery skin and freckles/sun spots.

Final judgement: While the occasional day out in the sun is completely acceptable and mostly safe if you use proper sunscreen, laying out in the sun to achieve a tan is still unsafe overall and NOT recommended as it will prematurely age you and also increase your cancer risks.

…However, not all sun exposure is bad!

Experts agree that exposing your skin to about 2 to 10 minutes a day without using any sunscreen is recommended as a way to allow your body to produce enough vitamin D, which is necessary for  improved heart health, protection from breast cancer, and increased bone health.

So going out in the sun for a short bit every day is good for you, but if your goal is to tan, then the amount of exposure needed reaches unsafe levels and quickly becomes dangerous and very much not recommended!

Instead, look into a bronzing facial cream, or get lost in the endless hours of YouTube tutorials that teach you how to shade and contour your face which can easily and safely create the illusion of that perfect tan!

Spray tans have also come a long way and are a great alternative to getting a full body tan for a special occasion!

Spray tan

When thinking about your skin, it is important to consider the long term effects of your beauty decisions. Having a great tan for a just a few months will cost you in the long run with bad skin and higher chances of cancer. It is not worth it!

About modernhealthproject

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna

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