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Favorite Excuse Not to Wear Sunscreen: I Want a Tan

Unless you live in a cave, you are well aware that cigarettes cause lung cancer and tanning causes skin cancer. However, that doesn't stop people from smoking or baking in their bikinis on the beach. One main reason people continue to expose their skin to the sun without wearing any protection is that they want to have that nice healthy golden glow. You should know that when your skin tans, it means there has been damage to your skin. Tanning is your body's way of trying to protect itself from further UV exposure and damage. In other words, tanned skin is damaged skin, and the darker the tan, the more damage that's been done. Think of all the tans you've had over your lifetime. It all adds up and can lead to skin cancer, wrinkles, and sun spots.

That's why it's critical that you wear sunscreen every time your skin is exposed to the sun. If you still want that kiss of a golden glow, fake it. Spray tans, self tanning lotions, and bronzers will give your skin that tanned look without the permanent damage.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
magalaya magalaya 7 years
I totally agree with the above two comments. I'm Asian, though not super pale, and I'm RELIGIOUS about applying sunblock - so much so that my coworkers at the community centre have been calling me the "sunscreen specialist". I re-apply every two hours and I cover every exposed part of my skin - but I still tan.
tropicalsiren tropicalsiren 7 years
that is true, im latina and even though i wear sunscreen every single day of the year, in the summer i still get darker. I reapply it through the day and still i get darker and then when winter comes i get paler again. Im confused, whether or not my skin is being protected by sunscreen.
cg130 cg130 7 years
Thanks for the reminder, Fit!
TammyO TammyO 7 years
I guess the reason why some people feel they need to jump on others who do like to "lay out" or get some sun, no matter how much, is that they might be slightly incredulous as to the reason why? With the rise of cancer including skin cancer, these days, maybe they wonder why people who go get tans wouldn't automatically show more responsibility for the health of their skin(and great looking skin or genetics has not much to do with a melonma popping up one day. I guess it's akin to driving without a seat belt and then saying "Why bother! I'm going to die anyway!" Why blantantly tempt the odds?
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Ok, well, some of us don't have the melanin in our skin to get a decent tan even if we lay out all the time. I know for me personally, I HAVE to wear a lot of SPF in the sun in order to not broil. If I want to be tan, I have to go the self-tanner route and just deal with the smell and the fact that they wear off kind of quickly. I've found that the gradual tanners don't seem to smell as bad as the other ones.
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
I'm glad for everyone who has good skin but let's not forget that genetics, health, stress also play a large role in how skin looks. Again I just don't get why there is acrimony on this subject (maybe I've just never been exposed, no pun in tended, to people who made fun of other people for being pale). But people like Katie, come on, no need to be like that. You wouldn't say something like that to somebody having a third beer or taking the escalator instead of the stairs, would you?
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I used to tan religiously in my late teens/early twenties to have that dark bronzed glow. When I hit 23, I stopped tanning and went to self tanners because of the fear of wrinkles later on. I'm now in my late twenties and I look like I'm in my early twenties. The best thing I could have done for my skin was stop tanning - it's softer and more elastic and I don't have the wrinkles that my friends who continued to tan have. The self tanners are great but they are stinky and streaky when they wear off and require a lot of upkeep. I do wish I could find a self tanner that looked more like the brown tan I would get naturally, rather than the golden color tanners give. Most self tanners (even the mystic tan) looks slightly orange on me.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 7 years
I'm sorry but I love the sun. Humans were not meant to stay covered up and in caves all our lives. We only have ourselves to blame for the thinning of the ozone. Self-tanners never last more than a couple days and they always look fake. I don't think it's the end of the world if a person lays out in the sun every so often. I mean what ISN'T going to kill us these days? Cancer is blind. I've seen the palest most healthy person get terminal cancer.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 7 years
I think the healthy tan thing is overrated. My skin is pale and it's meant to stay that way. All through high school the girls would ask "why don't you tan you look so sick?" I would just tell them that I value my youthful look. I am so glad that they have gradual tanners now, I use them year-around. Even for my wedding people were surprised when I didn't tan for that. It's just not natural for me.
katie225 katie225 7 years
vitamin D is recommended to be taken in supplement form (i.e., vitamins!). most nutritionists want you to avoid taking vitamins and rather get your nutrients through food. but vitamin D is one that everyone agrees should be taken as a pill. milk works too. even if you don't burn, tanning decreases the elasticity in your skin. we all know it causes wrinkles on your face, neck, and chest. but decreased elasticity also means increasing the appearance of cellulite and gross veins! i, for one, don't want to be that woman walking around with nasty skin when i'm in my 40s. feel free to join that club if YOU want to. it's YOUR choice.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 7 years
To get vitamin D from the sun all a person needs is 10 to 15 minutes which doesn't actually mean to lie out and tan. And people are also supposed to get it from food sources.
xSweetLeafx xSweetLeafx 7 years
I know, I know! but I just hate having a white ass. (tmi?) Besides, all my veins and arteries are visible without a tan.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 7 years
I think phrases like "healthy tan" and "healthy bronze glow" just encourage people to think they "need" to tan. Plus, no one would think of a tan as skin damage since it doesn't hurt like a sun burn.
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
Morever, laying out for a half hour or so a few times a week is a nice mental break for me, and the little production of putting on self-tanner is a drag I don't feel like dealing with anymore (plus my husband hates the smell and I dont' blame him). this is just me, of course--I am one of those people who does tan so I don't think I'm forcing my skin to do things it's not supposed to. Sorry for the random rant! I just get sensitive sometimes about how sun exposure is one of those things people feel compelled to get in your business about sometimes for some reason.
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
I wear some SPF and I lay out and I get a little bit a tan and I love it. So sue me. It's my epidermis and my parents both have good skin so I'm hoping I can get away with it but if I don't, I know I can't say I wasn't warned.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I do those gradual self-tanning moisturizers as well. It seems like those give me a more even result than the regular self tanners.
Elizabeth1981 Elizabeth1981 7 years
I am all about the daily gradual self-tanning lotion and then loads of SPF when I'm hanging out at the pool.
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