Getting Tough With Sunbeds June 23, 2008Posted by Mrs Weird Scientist in Easy As Pie, Human Body.
Tags: sun, sunbed, tan
It’s summertime and as you get into your shorts and t-shirt, you might be thinking to yourself that your skin is whiter than Casper the friendly ghost. While some people seek their tan by sprawling under the hot sun at the beach, others head to the tanning salon. Tans are something that many people see as attractive but the path to getting that tan can not only be an ugly one, but it can get a lot uglier with time.
New rules are now in place for sunbed use in Scotland. The rules are meant to highlight the dangers of sunbeds. In fact, one study found that 4 out of 5 tanning salons did not meet the current safety guidelines. The ultraviolet rays went beyond the maximum standards in Britain. The new regulations are thought to put Scotland ahead of the rest of the United Kingdom.
So, what happens if salons don’t abide by these new rules? Well, they can say hello to fines. If a salon allows someone under the age of eighteen to use a sunbed, they will be charged £100 (approximately $200 Canadian). Salons are generally not happy about the new rules. Responses have included comments citing that children are more at risk of skin cancer from sun exposure during a foreign holiday or that there isn’t really any evidence to show that sunbeds are being abused.
A Better Tan
If you really do want that tanned look, however, the general consensus is that fake cream or spray tans – most using a chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) – are non-toxic and safe for use on the skin. DHA is a colorless chemical, which undergoes a reaction with the amino acids in your dead skin cells. The result is a brown color – a tan. One safety aspect you should note, however, is that sunscreen is even more important if you are using a topical tanning product. So, be sure to slather your skin up with a quality sunscreen!
As for me, I used to find tans attractive during my own teen years. I disliked being naturally pale and felt that I needed to have that brown glow to look good. Ironically, most of the compliments I receive now are on my “porcelain skin,” which has taught me that we all have a pretty, natural color, whether that’s light or dark. I’d rather keep my sun exposure to a minimum by wearing sunscreen, avoiding tanning salons and letting any lines I develop be laughter ones – not wrinkles from sun exposure.