Self tanning offers safer alternatives to the sun

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With prom coming up, many girls are worried about a common thing: how they are going to get the ‘perfect tan.’ As tanning beds are beginning to go out of style, safer alternatives are setting in.

Many girls are realizing that the risk and dangers of using a tanning bed is not worth it. Tanning lotions and spray tans are now popular ways to get that “natural glow” for events such as prom.

According to melanoma.org, “Using tanning beds before age 30 increases your risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent. It is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old. Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death in women 25-30 years old and the second leading cause of cancer death in women 30-35 years old.”

My mom had skin cancer, and although it was not severe and is gone now, she still is very against me going tanning in a bed. I secretly did one time and got in big trouble when she found out.”

— Christabelle Mulcahy

“My mom had skin cancer, and although it was not severe and is gone now, she still is very against me going tanning in a bed. I secretly did one time and got in big trouble when she found out,” junior Christabelle Mulcahy said.

Although there is a risk, some people still use the traditional tanning bed. It is common for people to tan in a tanning bed before leaving somewhere on spring break so they can get a good base tan going to not burn as easily.

“Every year before I go to Mexico for spring break I go to the tanning bed a few times. It gives me a base so I do not get burnt badly and can tan easier down in Mexico. I don’t go for any other reason than that,” junior Taylor Hanson said.

A popular choice many girls make before prom is getting a spray tan. They usually last between 5-10 days and look pretty natural, but they can start to spot and fade in certain places on the body over time.

Junior Kristin Nielsen said, “I was really surprised because no one could tell I even got a spray tan, they just thought I looked tan. The only bad thing was that my left arm and hand were orange but my other arm was fine. I got it a week and a half ago and it’s still on.”

Every year before I go to Mexico for spring break I go to the tanning bed a few times. It gives me a base so I do not get burnt badly and can tan easier down in Mexico. I don’t go for any other reason than that.”

— Taylor Hanson

Unlike spray tans that people must go to a tanning salon for, tanning lotions are a cheap alternative that can be bought at almost any store and applied right at home. Make sure to distribute it evenly and blend it well, or else it can turn blotchy and be tanner in some places more than others.

“I went to another school’s prom this year and I used Jergens Natural Glow tanning lotion, which worked perfectly and looked great. I’ve used it many times so I know how to apply it well, and even though it lasts only a few days I love it, ” Mulcahy said.

Although having the perfect tan is the social norm for high school prom, the Melanoma Research Foundation encourages people to embrace and value the skin in which they were born. The high risk that tanning beds create is truly not worth it, and even though there are safer alternatives, natural skin is always beautiful the way it is.

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