Beautifully tanned skin is desirable among young women; at least it used to be when I was young. During the summer months, sunbathing was commonly included in the daily skin regiment. The theory was to obtain a dark tan that would last through the cold winter months. Over the years, we have learned the damaging effects UV rays can have on the skin. Being of fair skin tone, I paid attention and fortunately heeded some of those warnings.

Harmful Effects of Sunbathing
The dangerous effects of sunbathing, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation oftentimes are classified as acute or chronic. The acute effects of exposure are both short-lived and reversible. These effects include mainly sunburn (erythema) and tanning (pigment darkening). Chronic effects of UV exposure are more serious and possibly even life threatening, including premature aging of the skin, suppression of the immune system, damage to the eyes, and skin cancer.

Healthy Tanning Beds – Experts disagree
Being a fair-skinned female and living in Florida is the perfect recipe for skin damage if I ever heard one! Today young women can obtain that beautifully bronzed look without on drop of sunlight. There is a vast discrepancy of opinions relating to tanning beds.

“In a statement issued in response to a request from WebMD, International Tanning Association Executive Director John Overstreet accuses the authors of the newly published reviews of making ‘irresponsible assertions without providing any concrete link between indoor tanning and melanoma.’”

The medical community responded, “In a separate review entitled “Are Tanning Beds Safe?” University of New Mexico epidemiologist Marianne Berwick, PhD, concluded that the data suggest, but do not prove, that tanning beds are no safer than sun exposure and may even be associated with an increased risk for melanoma.”

Tanning Solutions – A personal decision
Who to believe in this skin tanning battle is a personal decision. On one hand, the Associations say it preposterous to think that a tanning bed will have the same effects as the sun. Medical professionals say it is true that tanning beds are harmful and may even be worse than the suns natural rays. Personally observing the helpful effects of artificial UV rays in treating psoriasis presents some confusion and a mixed opinion.

One thought I had yet found little information addressing it, was to use a indoor tanning lotion. This allows for a bit of protection and acceleration of skin tanning. With minimal protection and a less time under the lamps, wouldn’t this be similar to using a low-grade sun block and much safer for the skin? Maybe us women can safely obtain that beautiful bronze skin without a serious risk, what do you think?

Alternatively, perhaps using a sunless tanning lotion is the answer. Many top-notch companies sell various types of sunless skin tan lotions. I tried Jergen’s Natural Glow moisturizer for several months. The sunless tanning lotion gave my skin a sun tanned appearance. The color was very natural and it deepened over time unlike those instant dye-type tanners. Years ago, before I went to the beach I used Sudden Tan, a dye type foaming skin tanner. I was very self-conscious of my glowing white legs. While it did tan them, the color was very unnatural. Besides that, it stained my palms terribly!

Before you decide on basking in UV rays to obtain beautiful bronzed skin, please be safe and do research your options.