Tanning Salon Commercials – Don’t Be Deceived!
It is that time of year again. Last week, I heard for the first time this season a commercial for a tanning salon. It’s usually around mid to late February that I start hearing the commercials as I am getting ready for work, and I can’t help but wonder how many kids are getting ready for school and hearing the promise that going to a tanning salon will make them look better and, as advertised by one tanning salon, “let them be their bright sunny self inside and out.”
A tan doesn't make you look better
Honestly, I was disgusted. Not just for the ads that try to convince people that they need a tan to look good, but because at one time in my life I, too, believed that having a tan would make me look better. How I perceived my looks was based upon whether I had a tan. In my mind, having a tan made me look cuter. And oh how wrong I was.
In actuality, I was never able to really get a tan. It didn’t matter if I was lying in the sun all afternoon; I didn’t tan. Lying on a silver reflective blanket, slathered in baby oil didn’t produce a tan either. Going to the tanning bed before vacations to get a “base tan” didn’t get me tan, either. All of those things did give me sunburns. And, they gave me a never-ending journey with skin cancer.
Tanning in a tanning bed damages skin
The tanning salon parking lots that I pass on my way to and from work are full. I’m smelling the distinct smell of burnt skin as I stand in line at the grocery store and see the people with red/tan bodies. I get it; it’s almost time for spring break, and it’s a tradition for many people to get a tan before they go on vacation. But how I wish I could tell those people – and have them understand – that they are causing a lot of damage to their skin.
- Leathery skin? They can look forward to that down the road.
- Wrinkles? Oh yes, they’re coming. Tanning ages your skin, no doubt about it.
- Sun spots? They’ll be a given. Skin damage starts with your very first tan. There’s no “grace period” for skin damage.
- Skin cancer? Their odds are increasing each time they step into the tanning bed.
Using a tanning bed increases risk of melanoma
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, people who use a tanning bed before age 35 have a seventy-five percent increase of developing life-threatening melanoma. This is after just one indoor tanning session. Let that sink in. One time in the tanning bed as a teenager, and you’ve just increased your chance of developing melanoma by 75%.
On their web site, the Skin Cancer Foundation referenced a study of 63 women who had been diagnosed with melanoma before the age of 30 and found that 61 of those women, or 97% of them, had used tanning beds.
It’s kind of ironic, isn’t it? People go to the tanning bad to get a tan to look good, thinking it makes them look healthier, when they’re actually setting themselves up for skin damage and possibly even skin cancer. There really is no such thing as a healthy tan.
Please - ignore the tanning salon commercials. Save your money, and your skin.
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