7 Reasons to Avoid the Tanning Bed ...

When I was in high school, I practically lived at the tanning bed, but as I got older I learned more and more reasons to avoid the tanning bed, which had given me my sunkissed glow all of those years. I’m not going to lie; I miss it dearly. I used to love the relaxation of taking a good 20 minute nap or less in the heated beds and leaving with a gorgeous glow. Can’t get much better than that, right? Sure, I knew a little about the scary associations with the UV rays and such, but nonetheless, my desire for a summer tan year round usually won above all else. When I was in my early 20s I became aware of how the beds were negatively affecting me, therefore I no longer spend money that I don’t have on tanning and exposing myself to numerous dangers. I may not look like a beach Barbie all year round now, but I sure do feel healthier. Check out these top 7 reasons to avoid the tanning bed if you’re on the fence.

1. Aging

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Of all the reasons to avoid the tanning bed, this reason is the number one reason I do not go anymore. As I near closer to 30, I’ve become vainer I suppose, and the tanning bed is now synonymous with wrinkles, uneven skin tone and age spots. Since I stopped frequenting the tanning bed eight years ago, I now look younger than I did at 16! In high school, my skin looked a little like leather, and was always either dry, breaking out or it simply looked dull. It had no overall glow to it and my eyes had small wrinkles around them, but not anymore. The UV rays in tanning beds are so powerful that they can cause all of these issues and more. Youthfulness is beauty, not a wrinkled faux tan!

2. It Causes Acne

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This reason took me a while to learn. There was a myth when I was in school that going to the tanning bed would clear your face up. Since I had constant breakouts, I was willing to believe in the hype. What I learned years later though, was the reason my acne was so bad was that the rays from the tanning bed were actually killing off my skin’s ability to build new collagen and repair itself. This made the breakouts I had worse! I had lots of scarring and all of my scar tissue from past breakouts had become more visible. No wonder! Now, you can’t see any of those spots on my face and it is always clear. Stay out of the tanning bed to cure your acne; it doesn’t work.

3. Cancer Exposure

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We all know that we can get skin cancer from the tanning bed. This has made the spray tans and other safer options more popular over the years. However, those 5 minute quick tanning beds are still popular and many believe that since they are only in the beds 5 minutes, they won’t expose themselves to the same danger. Any exposure to the tanning bed’s rays will expose you to the risk of cancer.

4. Burn Baby, Burn

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Have you ever spent time in the tanning bed only to come out with a bit of a burn? This isn’t a good thing, though many people think it is normal. Sunburn is actually a reaction to UV-B type rays. It causes the top layer of your skin to become so inflamed, it results in burning as a reaction. Though it may seem normal, sunburn is a sign we have seriously damaged our skin.

5. Weakened Immunity

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Researchers have found that the type of UV ray known as UV-B radiation may actually lower your immune system through the skin’s natural defense mechanism. This leaves you more vulnerable to diseases, illnesses and more. I never linked my seasonal sicknesses to the tanning bed, but getting sick was a regular ordeal for me many years ago. Now, I may get sick once every two years since my immune system works better. Don’t expose yourself to illness unwillingly by vising the tanning bed and then spend good money at the doctor when you get ill. Cut out the middle man and stay well naturally.

6. Eye Damage

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The tanning bed can severely damage your eyes. A friend of mine actually got eye cancer from her first visit to the tanning bed. Those goggles you wear during tanning can’t protect you 100% from cancer risks or damage to your retina, nor can closing your eyes or putting a towel over your face. The UV rays in tanning beds can still cause serious damage fast, and is a tan really worth your eyesight? I didn’t think so!

7. Allergic Reactions

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Many people who visit the tanning bed have skin allergies, yet don’t know the reason. UV rays from the beds can actually irritate the cells inside your skin and cause allergic reactions such as itching, spotting, peeling, or other effects. Add in the chemicals from tanning lotions and other pre-tan potions and you’ve set your skin up for a major science experiment, not a luxury tanning experience.

I know staying away from tanning beds can seem daunting if you’re new to it, or if you’ve been a frequent visitor for some time. Trust me, I know how you feel, but being without a tan from a UV ray bed can actually be very liberating. Knowing you’re taking care of your body’s skin, preventing aging, and preventing cancer is a great feeling! Plus, looking better helps too! There are plenty of safe natural self-tanners out there if you want a little extra glow. Have any of you all ever stopped going to the tanning bed? Tell me about it!

**Sources: **fda.gov

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