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All About Safe Tanning

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 11 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
Tanning Sunlight Sun Sun Beds Fake Tan

A nice tan or subtle glow can make someone both appear and feel more healthy, but some methods of obtaining this tan are dangerous and there are some methods that are safer than others.

Sun Beds

Sun beds are used frequently by lots of modern men and women, and worryingly more and more children. They can be very dangerous if not used correctly as they expose the skin to extremely damaging rays.

Try to avoid the use of sun beds entirely, but if you must use one do not exceed more than 20 exposures in any 12 month period and ensure you have correctly selected the safe length of time and exposure for your skin type. The tanning salon staff should be training to assess your skin and recommend time constraints.

Sun beds should not be used by those with extremely pale skin, those with moles on their body, those with a history of cancers, people with disorders of the heart or circulatory system, pregnant women or under 16's.


The dangers of sun bathing are well documented and most people are aware that sun bathing or sunburn can lead to cancer but many people do not know that some people are more at risk than others and there are approaches to sun bathing that can minimise the risk.

Being in the sun is good for you and provides an excellent source of vitamin D that sometimes cannot be gained from dietary sources alone, but it is important to note that whilst being in the sun can provide some benefits, it is essential to protect the skin from long periods of exposure to the suns harmful rays.

If you are planning to sunbathe always remember to wear a suitable form of sunscreen with approved ingredients that protect from the harmful rays. When you are on holiday, take a selection of products and start the holiday using the highest factor of sunscreen and use for a few days before changing to a lower one.

This guide is not suggesting that this is the healthiest approach, but it is far safer than by simply using a low sunscreen nor tanning oil alone.Never use pure oils as a lotion as this will encourage burning which can be sore and lead to permanent damage.

Fake Tans

The use of fake tans is thankfully on the increase as the public become more aware of the dangers of sunbathing and tanning booths.Most fake tans work slowly and can be built up by regular application and come in a variety of shades allowing the user to choose a suitable tone for their skin.They may occasionally cause a reaction to the skin so a small discreet test area should be undertaken first before all-over courage is sought.

Staying Pal

The best way to avoid the dangers of cancers of other illnesses is to not use any product at all. This will also help to prevent signs of aging, keep skin looking clean and fresh and set and example to the younger generations and may help to change the culture of having unnaturally tanned skin.

To have a tan can make some people feel better about themselves and more confident, but it is the methods in which the tan is obtained that causes concern. Skin cancer incidence is on the increase in the UK, largely down to the pressures of gaining a tan, usually from excessive sun bed use.

Always make sure you protect your skin when out in direct sunlight, do not exceed the time recommendations when using a sun bed and familiarise yourself with the early warning signs of skin cancers developing and seek advice immediately.

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