From beaches to tanning parlors– tan is the buzz word for summer. Just thinking about how I am going to show off my sexy tan on the beach is giving me goose bumps already! There are many fact, myths and rumours about tan. Let’s find out what’s hot and what’s not about tan this summer.
1. Tan is skin damage
Yes, as annoying as it sounds– it is true! A tan is a sign of skin damage. Did you know that when your skin is exposed to UV radiation, it produces more ‘melanin’? This causes the skin to darken– which is known as ‘tan’. In plain English, the sun’s UV rays damage the skin, causing it to tan. Contrary to beauty advice, a tan is not a sign of good health.
2. Your favorite summer tan is dangerous– It may have deadly side effects
I must admit that I was a bit frail when I learnt that tanning can contribute to DNA damage. Premature aging and skin cancer are also possible side effects of tanning. Researchers suggest that our skin has a limited capacity of exposure to UV radiation. Do you know what this means? Well, every time you go out in the sun, or drag yourself to a tanning parlour, you effectively increase the total lifetime dose of UV which adds up the damage to the skin– even when there is no sunburn.
3. Faking it
Faking it– we are all very aware of this term, aren’t we? On a serious note, there are many fake tan products available in the market out there. You can still maintain that radiant glow on your skin with these fake tanning products. However, as opposed to common belief, not all ‘fake tan’ products are safe. There are products called the ‘tan accelerators’.
These accelerators contribute to the production of ‘melanin’. Not a lot is known at this point of time but studies say that using tan accelerators for long periods of time may have side effects like increased risk of skin cancer and blistering.
Tanning lotions, creams, spray tans, dyes, bronzers, tinted sunscreens, and spray tanning booths– there are many options to choose from if you desire to get a fake tan. Different skin types have different tendencies and reactions to external substances. Researchers suggest that powders or bronzers are less likely to cause damage. Consult your dermatologist before you take the plunge.
4. Tanning myth– A solarium tan is a safe tan
If you think this too, you are not alone! A majority of the population believes that solarium tanning is safe and much better than heading out in the sun. Increased risk of skin cancer, eye damage, skin damage and even possibilities of changes to the immune system are some of the side effects you may be exposed to. I did not even know that it is illegal for any solarium operators to advertise their services as ‘safe’? Did you?
5. What you need to remember and where to get help
Don’t you hate it when people start giving you advice which is nowhere near the truth? Ever since I’ve done my homework, I don’t miss a chance to put down ignorant fools who start doling out nonsense advice in front of me. If you want someone to speak to, or want advice, there are a few sources that you can tap. Go to your local doctor, pharmacists, your dermatologist, local community health care centre, your government health helpline or even cancer help lines.
Does tanning make you look more beautiful? Even though I know all these facts, I still think that tanning adds a zing to my personality– especially when I’m lying in my hot bikini on the beach. But it is important to remember that there is no such thing as ‘safe tanning’.