If you feel better with a golden glow, you’re not on your own; having a tanned skin is popular throughout the year with many viewing it as a cosmetic must-have.
But with so much written about the perils of tanning in recent years, do you dare risk your health just to look good?
Here’s a few of the most common tanning myths and the truth that you should know before you start going for gold!
Myth: Tan indoors to be safe
Everyone knows that sunbathing outdoors can be seriously bad not just for your skin, but for your overall health too but what about indoors tanning?
Although you might only be exposing your skin to UV rays for a fraction of the time, the strength of the rays can cause serious harm.
Malignant melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and although there can be a family history of it, researchers suggest that exposure to UV rays is the most crucial factor. And using a sunbed before the age of 35 could hike up your chance of getting skin cancer by as much as 75%.
Every year in the UK there’s around 100 cases of skin cancer deaths which can be attributed at least in part to the use of sunbeds. This is more than the number of cases of lung cancer which are linked to smoking!
Myth: Tanning is essential to get sufficient Vitamin D
There’s no denying that exposing your skin to the sun will produce Vitamin D, an important vitamin which studies suggest can help to reduce the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.
However, there’s no need to risk getting skin cancer by leaving your skin unprotected in the sun. Even the highest protection sunscreen won’t prevent all of the rays from getting through so you’ll still produce some Vitamin D even if you are protected.
And if you are lacking, there’s many foods such as milk and cereal which are fortified with Vitamin D so you won’t have any problem getting your quota.
Myth: Tanning gives you wrinkles
This myth is actually true! Amongst the hyperbole and propaganda, there are some facts which are correct.
Studies have been carried out on individuals who both sunbathed outdoors in natural sunlight and also used sunbeds and both were found to damage the skin and cause wrinkles.
As well as squinting your eyes against the sun, and crinkling the delicate skin around your eyes, sunbathing of any kind also triggers a mutation within the DNA. Regardless of where the exposure to UV rays is carried out, it leads to a rapid accumulation of mutant cells within the skin which contribute to wrinkles, lines and other forms of premature ageing.
The only way to guard against this is to stay out of the sun when it’s at its peak (between noon and 3pm), wear a wide brimmed hat, slather yourself in sunscreen which is at least SPF15 and stay covered up with long sleeves. Make sure that your sunscreen also protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
This is all great advice but if you follow it you may keep your skin safe, but you won’t get a tan!
As the above facts show, sunbathing isn’t good for the skin and could even end up putting your life in danger. But that doesn’t mean you need to give up on a golden glow; sunless tanning tablets will give you the skin colour without any of the risks. Don’t harm your skin with UV ray exposure when there’s an alternative which could give you a warm golden colour without risking your health too!