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Thread: Tanning Safety?

  1. #1
    owl27
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    Tanning Safety?

    Hi all--
    Recently I heard that tanning beds are as risky as cigarettes. I know tanning in general can increase your chance of skin cancer. However, I am wondering about this comparison to smoking.
    For instance, if I were to go to the beach once or twice a month and wear a lot of sunscreen, just how dangerous is that? vs. smoking how many cigarettes? And how does tanning outside with sunscreen compare to using a tanning bed? If I were to go to the tanning bed 1-2 times a week for 2 months a year, how dangerous is that?
    Any advice you can give would be great. I am very safety conscious. I am a light skinned woman (non-smoker) who gets the best results from occasional tanning bed use. I don't tan on a regular basis but I feel better with a "glow." I find it very relaxing, as well. I'd hate to completely give it up so I would like to get a true idea of the risks.
    I've tried the self-tanners and they have never worked for me. I tried the mystic tan in the salon. Very expensive, very unappealing results. The lotions from the store don't work well, either. I am highly sensitive and I have yet to find an unscented self-tanner. No matter how much I exfoliate, I always end up splotchy and the color is not flattering.

  2. #2
    Chocolatefrogs
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    Tanning beds are worse than going in the sun, especially for light skinned people. It's something to do with the type of UV waves, which scientists originally thought were ok but have now realised are even worse.

    If you are light skinned, its best to avoid tanning (sorry, annoying truth I know, I'm light skinned myself!)

    Personally I find that what looks realistic is a moisturiser with a little bit of tanning agent in it. You won't notice a difference with one coat, but if used regularly it will build up to a colour that isn't orange, isn't blotchy and looks like a realistic tan.

  3. #3
    dramallama
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    What's so attractive about a tan, though? You should aim to preserve your natural skin tone, whatever it is, through wearing sunscreen every day and avoiding getting sunburnt (tanned) where possible. There's no real way to tan safely, because a tan is the result of damaged skin. Also, IMO, if you are born fair-skinned, a tan kinda looks weird on you because it doesn't look natural.

  4. #4
    arwen
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    I am light skinned too (reddish blond hair, green eyes, freckles)... in the past I was very fond of getting a tan in a tanning bed. But when I read about the risks, I quit doing that. I started to use high protection lotions/sprays in the summer (at least SPF 20, preferably higher). And you know what? Instead of getting sunburnt I get a nice healthy glow! So: stay away from fake sun, and protect yourself for the real thing. Also don't sunbathe... Just exercise outside. You'll look healthy from living a healthy lifestyle, not from fake sun

  5. #5
    owl27
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    Thanks for the info. I agree with what everyone says overall. I'm glad that more people appreciate lighter skin these days. However, my main issue is the veins on my legs. They're bad--really bad. Insurance won't cover the removal and I can't afford the treatments. So I wear pants. When I get a slight tan (outside or tanning bed) I feel 80% more confident, especially when wearing shorts or skirts or a bathing suit. Luckily I am past the point of trying to impress others but I also know looking good can mean feeling good, too. I REALLY wish I could use those lotions but my allergies to scents is just too much. I get migraines. Maybe one day they will invent an unscented tanning lotion/self tanner.

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