March 8th, 2012 • Posted by Shana Irish • Permalink
I hope you've been enjoying this amazing weather we've been having! Also, with spring break around the corner, I didn't feel it was too early in the year to talk about sun exposure. Despite widespread cautions about sun exposure, many people justify tanning by adhering to common myths. Yet, many of the justifications for why people tan are simply untrue or exaggerated. Here, we debunk five of the most common tanning myths:
1. You need to sunbathe without sunscreen to get Vitamin D
Vitamin D can help heart and bone health, and protect you from certain forms of cancer. It is true that exposure to sunlight helps your body produce vitamin D. Some doctors even recommend a brief period of time in the sun (ten minutes maximum) each day to help stimulate the bodyís production of Vitamin D. However, there are many other ways to get your Vitamin D, including juices, milk, cereal, and yogurt which are fortified with the vitamin.
2. Tanning beds are safer than sunbathing
While some devotees cite the controlled environment of the tanning salon as a reason for the tanning bed's superiority to the beach, tanning beds have also proven to be a significant factor in the development of malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Studies have shown that those who used tanning beds more than ten times per year were seven times more likely to develop malignant melanoma than those who do not. An article appearing in the American Journal of Health Studies asserted that tanning devices emit five times the solar UVA radiation found at the equator!
3. Getting a base tan before vacation protects your skin from damage
If youíre going on a vacation or a cruise in the middle of winter, you may have heard that itís wise to get a base tan before you go in order to protect your skin from burning. While you may be less likely to get burnt if you have a base tan, youíre skin is not protected. Any change in skin colorótherefore, any tanóis your skinís reaction to damage. Your skin gives you visible proof that it has been exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Plus, tanned skin on a fair-skinned individual only provides a barrier equivalent to a sunscreen with an SPF of 4. It is recommended that individuals wear an SPF of at least 15, year-round.
4. You cannot get sunburned on an overcast or cold day
Doctors recommend wearing sunscreen year-round because even when the sun isnít shining brightly, UV rays are penetrating the clouds. While cloud cover can reduce the amount of UV-rays by up to 20 percent, they do not completely eliminate the sunlight. Therefore, you should be wary of spending extended time outdoors without sunscreen on an overcast day, because you may still end up with a sunburn. It also doesnít matter what the temperature is outside. During the summer, UV rays are more intense, but UV rays are present year-round, on warm days, and chilly ones.
5. People with darker-toned skin need not worry about skin damage from the sun
While individuals with naturally darker skin arenít as susceptible to skin cancer and premature aging, skin of all tones can be damaged by the sun. African-American skin provides up to SPF 13.4, while Caucasian skin tends to provide SPF 3.4. However, all skin types can be damaged by prolonged exposure to the sun, and those with darker complexions can still face skin cancer and premature aging.
To learn more about the true pros and cons of tanning, as well as tips for safely and smartly maintaining that healthy summer glow, contact me today for a FREE consultation! I've also launched the Bronzing Revunation Treatment this month; a great, healthy alternative!