Top Tanning Tips

17 Feb

It may or may not be a widely know fact that tanning devices have been available in the US since the late 1970’s. With a rise in popularity during the late 1980’s and through today, regulation and information about the use of the beds and booths have been widely debated by the tan loving community.

Tanning Basics

Tanning beds or booths work through the use of bulbs that emit ultraviolet radiation (like the sun). The user will lay or stand depending on if it’s a bed or a booth (lay for a bed, stand in a booth). The user will have goggles on and the bed will be on a timer. With goggles firmly in place, the user starts up the bed and the timer counts down to a luscious golden tan. The time allowed for UV exposure depends on your current tolerance to sun exposure, how often you’ve been in the sun during a period of time (generally they will ask about the last year), and other factors. One such factor will be the strength of the bulb as they can vary in wattage and technology, a higher ratio of UVA for example will be considered stronger than a UVA/UVB mix (so they say). All that said, the concept is pretty basic. You get exposed to UV rays and you get a tan.

Tanning Risks

The health concerns associated with tanning are primarily based on the concept of negative affects of over exposure to the UV radiation emitted by the tanning lamps/bulbs. Such health concerns range from premature aging of the skin to skin cancer. Publicized health risks even include compromised immune systems, and damage to the eyes via cataracts and photokeratitis which is described as being corneal sunburn. Ultimately, the risks associated with the use of a tanning device are similar to that of the sun with one exception, when in a tanning device you use no SPF protection against the harmful and damaging rays thus, you are deliberately exposing yourself to elements that will age and damage your skin and could have other known and unknown risk factors. Aging is enough of a risk to me. Ultimately, whether you use a tanning bed or booth is entirely up to you and I’m not going to get on my soap box. Speaking from personal experience, I prefer not the have leather skin and brown blotchy patches on my face and I really would rather make all reasonable attempts to reduce my risk for skin cancer. That said, here are my top tanning tips!

Tip #1: If you are worried about getting cancer from a tanning device, don’t use one. We are exposed to enough environmental factors on a daily basis so if you are going to get skin cancer, at least try to control one factor!

Tip #2: If you are worried about damaging your eyes by using a tanning device, don’t use one. Always wear protective lenses that have UV protection qualities.

Tip #3: If you are concerned about compromising your immune system by using a tanning device, do not use one. Take your vitamins, eat right, and exercise. Minimize external environmental factors.

Tip #4: If you are concerned about prematurely aging your skin by using a tanning device, don’t use one. This is a big deal; you will notice that your skin is getting aged even after just a couple of uses of a tanning device. Your skin will become dryer, more leather like to the touch…remember that tanning is just skin damage.



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