When I was a child, tanning was an alien concept. As someone who has darker skin, and who grew up in a country surrounded by individuals with darker skin, it never occurred to me that people would lie in the sun doing nothing but getting their skin to turn brown.
Fast forward to my teenage years growing up in Northern Canada. Summer meant going to the lake and slathering your body with baby oil waiting to get some color. Odd, I thought and I didn’t partake (at least not in the baby oil habit). My thoughts aside; this was the 1980s and tanning was in.
The baby oil habit was something I managed to escape but by adulthood the idea of lazy snoozing in the sun held lots of appeal. Warm winter vacations down South had me rolling out my blanket and catching a snooze on the beach. I wasn’t ‘tanning’ and since my skin is darker and I never burn, why bother applying sunscreen?
Lucky for me, my natural melanin helped protect me from burns, but who knows what long term damage I’ve wrecked. Things have come a long way since those days. We now know that tanning is dangerous. Here are some facts:
- Tanning is indicative of exposure to UV radiation (not really any different to a sunburn)
- Tanning (and sunburns) damage the skin’s DNA which can contribute to the development of skin cancer
- One blistering sunburn increases your risk of developing melanoma. Squamous cell cancer increases based on your lifetime exposure to UV rays and basal cell carcinoma increases based on the combination of intense and lifetime sun exposure
- Tanning beds are NOT a safe way to tan. They often emit higher UVA than UVB rays. Yes, you may not burn, but UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin causing more long term damage. This may increase your risk for developing some types of skin cancer.
This summer (and year round – don’t forget about those ever present UVA rays) cover up with a sunscreen that protects you against both UVA and UVB rays. Your skin and your health will be thankful. Choose from our extensive selection of UVA and UVB blocking Anthelios sunscreens and more.