Story by Katie Douglas, for The Muleskinner
In the minds of some, tanning is a must to be beautiful. In the minds of others, it’s a sure-fire way to end up six feet under.
It’s not to say everyone who tans is going to get skin cancer, but according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, indoor tanning increases the risk of melanoma by 74 percent.
In Warrensburg, there are many places to tan – Sunless Sensations, Express Tan, L.A. Tan and many more. All offer different kinds of tanning beds and different deals for those looking to ‘fake bake.’
The question is, why do we tan? Is it because we feel thinner and more beautiful? Maybe.
Or is it because we crave 15 minutes of pure relaxation, lying in the warm bed unbothered by the world? Possibly that too.
For whatever the reasons we tan, knowing the risks associated with the activity is crucial.
Whether the facts hit home or not, if you are going to tan, you should know how to tan in a safer way. Tanning lamps and beds emit UV radiation, which is linked with higher risks of developing all forms of skin cancer.
When tanning, you should always wear eye protection. Most salons offer goggles for free or at a low cost.
Tanning lotion is also a must. Lotions can range from $6 to as much as you’re willing to spend. Different lotions offer different advantages. Some claim to be anti-aging, while others claim to give you the deepest tan possible. Whatever you choose, any lotion is better than hitting the tanning bed with no lotion to absorb some of the UV rays.
What about tanning alternatives? There are a few ways to get that bronzed look without baking in a bed.
Try self-tanners. Self-tanners come in bottled lotion form that you rub into the skin that either gives you an instant tan or a tan that develops over a few hours.
There are also the options of airbrush tanning and Mystic tanning, both of which give you the tan look without the risks of the tanning bed.
They can sometimes leave you with a streaky, orange or otherwise unnatural look. However, the “unnatural look” is always better than not being alive.
Ultimately, knowing the risks of tanning and how to tan properly could save your life.
More info is available at skincancer.org.