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Are Base Tans Healthy?

It's a common belief that before heading to the beach or the tropics, you should take a trip to the tanning salon to get a base tan. Even though it seems like a good idea to prepare your skin for sun exposure by hitting the electric beach, according to the Mayo Clinic, there's no proof that a few sessions at the tanning salon will prevent an outdoor sunburn. Keep in mind that ultraviolet light, whether from the sun or a sunlamp, damages your skin. Any change in the color of your skin is a sign of damage from UV radiation. Repeated exposure increases the risk of premature skin aging and skin cancer.

So skip the tanning trips and once you head to warmer climates, be sure to protect your skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen, which will protect you against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply it at least 30 minutes before you head outside, and reapply it every two hours.

VeeKeeTee VeeKeeTee 8 years
i'm still in denial
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I'm pale and I embrace it. When my friends all have pre mature winkles and bad skin I'll still look fab. :)
darc5204 darc5204 8 years
I pretty much agree with everyone, in one way or another. I don't tan because I think it's a foolish thing to do, and if you do tan, I'm probably thinking you're a bit foolish. Still, Zulkey is right , it's not like smoking and thus not my business. That said, it does bother me when parents let their kids to go to tanning beds.
misskacie misskacie 8 years
Some of these comments sadden me. I'm with you, Zulkey. I love my super-pale skin. I don't let other people's opinions dictate how I feel about myself. They're not in control of how my self-image, I am. I think we give other people too much power when we try to blame them for "making" us feel a certain way about ourselves. Why not take responsibility and ask "Why do I care so much if others think I'm too pale?" Now, as for tans, I don't. I can't. If I feel it makes a certain outfit look better, I'll slap on a light toner for the evening. I certainly don't begrudge people who can/do tan, as long as they're being educated and cautious about it. :)
Zulkey Zulkey 8 years
I respectfully disagree--first, there are plenty of pale beautiful people, like Dita Von Teese. And anyway I don't see still how that means it's cool to tell people "If you go out in the sun you're an idiot."
katie225 katie225 8 years
zulkey, it affects people's images of others. look at the anonymous comment below yours. living in a culture of "tan is beautiful, pale is sickly" makes people like me feel uncomfortable with our natural skin color.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I don't ever tan, no matter what I do, so I never even bother with a "base tan" when I go on vacation. I went to Central America in June with no base tan and I didn't burn...I just used sunblock all the time and wore a hat. If you want to have some color, just use a self-tanner or one of those tanning moisturizing lotions.
Zulkey Zulkey 8 years
I do too, Anonymous, but I still do it. I'm so sick of the self-tanning and standing around naked waiting to dry. Am I stupid? Sure, I guess. I also eat food that's bad for me sometimes and things like that too. I'm not lashing out at you, Anonymous, but it amazes me how much tanning is considered other people's business. It's not like smoking, which can affect other people--it just affects the person who does it.
Zulkey Zulkey 8 years
you know what, I still can't be talked out of getting a little color (from the sun) each summer. It feels good. I use some protection but moreover I'd just rather enjoy some time in the warm sun for the 3 minutes we have summer here in Chicago and deal with any potential consequences.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
when i was younger i used to think this - but as i've read more i've learned that it's mostly a myth. it's always smart to do the suntan lotion thing anyway!
doogirl doogirl 8 years
Tans of any kind are bad. My favorite analogy of a tan is this: You know when you cut up an apple and it turns brown? That's the exact same thing that happens to your skin when you tan! Gross!
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
um, no duh.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
I have no idea on the procedure of tanning. I'm lost on the theory behind base tanning.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
I hate hearing this from so many people! Getting a "base tan" means no sunburn, it means youre tanning safer, thank you Fit for calling BS on this. I have to forward this article around.
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