Just how bad are tanning beds?
In the “Friends” episode “The One with Ross’s Tan,” Ross (David Schwimmer ) goes into a spray-on tanning booth, is befuddled by the instructions and gets sprayed twice in front, missing his back. After trying and failing twice more to balance out the coverage, he ends up with a level 16 spray-on tan (2 is optimal) on the front half of his body. Although Ross royally botched his spray tan, at least he steered clear of a tanning bed.
For a while now we’ve been telling you that indoor tanning beds are bad for you, but researchers finally have nailed down just how bad. They looked at data on over 140,000 women and found that those who’d had 30 or more tanning-bed sessions were 32 percent more likely to develop melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, than non-tanners. And that’s not to mention an increase in premature skin wrinkling.
So why are a whopping 9.7 million of you still going for the indoor tan? If you just say no and accept your natural skin color, you’ll give yourself a younger RealAge, live longer and look better as you do it!
If you absolutely must get a darker glow, use a spray tan, and use it correctly. That includes wearing a mask to avoid fumes. Also, if you think indoor tanning will give you a vitamin D boost, that’s not happening. The bulbs in tanning booths emit mostly deep-penetrating UVA rays. It’s the shorter UVB rays that help your skin make vitamin D.