Photographers taking pictures of a posing woman

4 Gifts That Trump Tanning Visits

The holidays have come and gone, and you had a limited number of days to get those stocking stuffers and last-minute gifts for friends and family. You might have even been the one in charge of grabbing up some door prizes for your company’s Christmas party. There were gazillion gift ideas out there. The one thing I am going to hope you did not buy for anyone on your list? You got it--tanning bed visits.

Don't buy a tanning salon gift certificate!

I won’t beat around the bush with this one. Don’t ever buy a tanning salon membership for anyone on your Christmas list. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a gift certificate to a local tanning salon would make a great stocking stuffer--it won’t. Whatever you do, don’t fall for advertisements and specials touting super deals and unlimited monthly tanning for less than $15 a month. While it’s a great price for a last-minute gift, the recipient might pay a bigger price down the road. Be strong. Resist the temptation. You’re doing it for them.

Sadly, if you did buy them this year, it might be too late (or you could secretly swap it out for something else!). But next year (or even for upcoming birthdays), instead of snatching up what sounds like a cheap and easy gift like a tanning package, try one of the following on for size:

1. Sunscreen - There are hundreds of different types and brands of sunscreen on the market. You can find daily moisturizing lotions with SPF of 30 or more like Hempz Yuzu and Starfruit Herbal Body Moisturizer. With just a little perusing online or in the trial-size section of stores like Ulta and Sephora, you may happen upon smaller sizes perfect for stocking stuffers or gift exchanges at work. I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that you could be starting a wonderful habit for someone you love. Daily sunscreen use is a fine obsession to have.

2. Moisturizing Self-Tanner - If that special someone on your list is a die-hard fan of the tan, why not do your part to guide him or her in a safer direction. Be the one to introduce self-tanner. The beauty market is teeming with self-tanning products. Hempz makes a self-tanner that moisturizes as it provides a gradual tan. Hempz Touch of Summer is one option for satisfying the desires of the tanner in your life.

3. Massage Gift Certificate - How about encouraging others to treat themselves to a little TLC? Handing someone a gift certificate for a massage is a nice way to say you care about them and want them healthy, happy, and safe. Admittedly, tanning is one way many people de-stress after a hard day. A massage, on the other hand, allows you to relax without exposure to UV rays.

4. Photo Mini-sessions - Hang in there with me for a second. I can explain. Many tanners and former tanning addicts will tell you that tanning makes them feel better; it gives them a sense of euphoria. For around the price of that handful of tanning bed visits you thought about purchasing, you can give the gift a mini-session with a local photographer. Having a few professional pictures taken can be a fun ego-boost--and a safe one, I might add.

Don't fall for it

Don't fall under the spell of the bright lights and low prices. Many have been lured in by the promise of hot bulbs and unlimited visits. It would a fantastic idea if tanning beds weren’t linked to skin cancer and premature aging.

If you start to feel pressured to buy a tanning salon membership for a friend, think again. When you are sent out to collect door prizes for the office party, turn down the offer of those 5 free visits--no one really wants to increase their chances for developing melanoma. No matter what gift you decided to buy, don’t encourage anyone to tan. Let them know their worth, and show them you want their holidays to be happy and the rest of their year to be healthy.

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