Unfortunately, the route of the tanning industry's success lies within the beauty and fashion industry. Quite a number of fashion advertisements have pictured the standard of beauty being a certain shade of skin, leaving many to darken or bleach their skin to achieve these dangerous 'ideals'. We are constantly being sold the idea of changing ourselves, of altering our natural beauty... and sometimes the means to such goals can become an addiction.
Tanning beds have been considered addictive to many, and the industry preys on ignorance of the true dangers they pose. Many of those who visit tanning salons regularly, are either unaware of the risks, and/or simply think skin cancer/melanoma will not happen to them. However, there is a vast amount of research available that explains just how dangerous tanning beds are, and how important sun-safety really is!
While it is essential to know the dangers of tanning beds, please also be aware of the plentiful 'safe' tanning alternatives that are now widely available that do not require UV light.
If you simply must have a tan, and want to be safe, there are three major alternatives to consider.
1. Spray Tanning. These 'fake' tans are quite literally painted on the skin, using airbrush techniques. They usually require going to a salon, or you can hire a mobile professional spray tan stylist/technician. Organic spray tans are now widely popular, as they do not contain chemicals that some may find harmful.
2. Sunless Tanning Lotions. Commonly bought over-the-counter, these lotions are less intense than spray tans, as they build up a gradual layered tan over time. These lotions may be in the form of oils, sprays, or spritz bottle formulas, and can be self-administered.
3. Bronzers. A number of cosmetic items now have what is marketed as a 'bronze' effect that works to put a dark or golden tint on the skin. Commonly found in foundations, moisturizers, and powders, these cosmetics give the illusion of a 'tan' and are very faint and very temporary.
Please be aware that these are all sunless tanning alternatives because they do not require UV or direct sun exposure. The only safe tan is a fake one!
If you know someone who uses tanning beds regularly, it may be wise to direct them to safer alternatives such as these, as it may save their life.