With the winter months approaching, and your summer bronze long gone, you might feel tempted to get your glow elsewhere. If you’re considering taking a trip to the tanning salon, think again! As with many myths related to the sun, such as how it will get ride of acne, there is a common myth with the sun and tanning beds. We’ve heard some crazy claims that tanning beds are less damaging than the sun, and are a better alternative. This is simply not the case. Exposing your skin to bright bulbs at a tanning salon can lead to the same damaging effects as over exposure to natural sunlight.
As with over-exposure to the sun, tanning beds can lead to many issues ranging from serious health problems, to changes in the appearance of your skin. When exposing your skin to the sun, it is the suns UV rays that do damage to your skin. Specifically, the two types of UV radiation that penetrate the skin are UV-B and UV-A rays. Some believe that the UV light in tanning salons is safer than UV light from the sun. There is really nothing “safe” about directly exposing your skin to UV radiation.
Like the sun, tanning salons use lamps that emit UV-A rays, and even some emit UV-B radiation.According to the Skincare Foundation, “Studies over the past two decades show that UV-A damages skin cells called keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur. UV-A contributes to and may even initiate the development of skin cancers.” UV-A rays are also responsible for skin damage and aging effects. In fact, up to 90% of the visible skin changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun. This includes the appearance of wrinkles, loss of firmness to the skin, sagging skin, uneven skin tone, or hyper-pigmentation (dark spots) and discoloration to the skin. UV-B rays on the other hand, are what lead to sunburn, but like UV-A rays, contribute to the risks in developing skin cancer.2 Whether you expose your skin to indoor tanning or natural sunlight, resulting sun damage that may not be apparent now can show up later on in life.
To keep your skin glowing, and youthful, there is only one option – take care of your skin! Skip the tanning beds and embrace your natural skin color! In fact, it seems that pale skin is making a comeback! Even celebrities these days are hopping on the natural trend, and are keeping their skin away from UV rays. With the best glam squads in the biz, they understand how to make their skin look its best without the sun damage. With all the information and studies out there that make claims against tanning, why put your skin at risk? It’s 2013 – let’s use what we know to make wise decisions!