Unpopular Opinion: Tanning Beds Are More Beneficial Than Harmful When Done Right. I Said What I Said.

I am very well aware that this bold statement is a highly controversial one. I’m going to explain myself with facts, knowledge and personal experience which it is my right to do so… after all, it is my blog. Even though I stand firm on what I believe about indoor tanning, I’m not the kind of person to convince others who believe otherwise that they are wrong or disregard their opinion as they are entitled to it as much as I am about mine. I want to start off by saying anyone who knows me will think that my opinion may be slightly biased because I work at an indoor tanning salon. Here is my defense to that: If I had known and learned what I know now about tanning and Vitamin D before I had started working there and studied the research, my opinion would have been the same. It just so happened that I was living my life with a ton of myths and make-believe stories that have been passed on through generations about sunlight and tanning until I wasn’t.

The Facts.

  1. Sunlight is essential to all life on earth. This is a widely known and concrete fact, yes? Living beings are not meant to survive without sunlight, so how have we come to saying that a vital part of nature which has given us life, is harmful for us? Now there are a few reasons to answer this question but I’m going to narrow it down to one. There is a golden rule that was once said by a greek poet: “moderation is best in all things.” Overexposing and abusing your skin will obviously not benefit you, as many things would not. Sunlight in moderation, is an essential part of our human lives and we cannot survive without it.
  2. Tanning is a natural process in the human body. Despite your belief on the creation of mankind, whoever and whatever it was, designed our bodies with the ability to produce a brown pigment within our skin called melanin. The process of tanning is the body’s natural sunscreen to protect itself from burning. So why do we have the notion that a natural process is wrong and bad for us?

Tanning does not cause skin cancer. Burning causes skin cancer.

It is no secret that you will see this sign when you enter a tanning salon, it is the law. However, UV Rays will be harmful whether you overexpose your skin at the beach for hours and days on end, or whether you abuse your skin by overusing the tanning bed. Remember, the key to my arguement: it is beneficial when done right, meaning in moderation and safely.

Vitamin D Therapy has become a lot more popular in the recent years, as much as even physicians and doctors around the globe suggesting it to patients for a variety of reasons. Living in North America means that we spend more than half the year with winter weather, and dark skies by 6 pm. For a lot of us who work indoors, that means we do not see sunlight for months on end. Over 40% of North America’s population struggles with Vitamin D Deficiency. Now I know what you’re thinking, but taking a supplement in the morning may not bring you the levels your body needs. When you ingest Vitamin D , such as taking a supplement with 5000 IU, your body will only keep about 60% of it after breaking it down and absorbing it, leaving you with about 3000 IU. When your skin is producing Vitamin D itself, your body will keep 100% of it. For example, one 10 minute session in an average tanning bed, will give you 10-20 thousand IU.

Adults require 28,000 to 30,000 international units of Vitamin D per week for optimal levels.

Yup, me after a fresh tan. Feels good.

Have you ever noticed that every time you go on vacation, you just know you’re going to come home with glowing, and clear skin? It’s the magic of salt water, tropical air, vacation… and sunlight. Many doctors have suggested indoor tanning beds for patients who struggle with psoriasis, acne, or eczema because the effect is incredible. I personally, struggle with eczema and extreme dryness on my back throughout the year and it can be so uncomfortable, itchy, and painful. 4 tanning sessions = HUGE difference. I have before and after photos to prove it! High Vitamin D levels have been known to improve seasonal depression symptoms, fatigue, and accelerate weight loss. There has been astonishing research on the relationship between Vitamin D and cardiac health as well lowering chances of multiple sclerosis.

The silliness of myths like “the tanning bed is going to fry my insides” are some of my favourites because unfortunately there are people who really believe that. Ultraviolet light does NOT penetrate past the layers of the skin and no, you will not get stuck inside the bed and sizzle to death like Final Destination 3. Tanning salons have an intricate and modern system that does not physically allow tanning beds to remain on past the maximum time allowed.

So What Is An Approrpiate Example of Using A Tanning Bed? Going for a 7-10 minute tan a couple of times a week will benefit you mentally and physically almost immediatly after your first two sessions, I guarantee it. The best way to start indoor tanning, is doing short sessions to start building your base and not letting your skin ever burn.

The C word.

There are so many things we use in our every day lives that “can cause cancer.” Whether you drink alcohol, smoke and use drugs or you use bleach to clean your home and apply sunscreen on the beach. Cancer is a horrible and tragic thing that can happen to anyone and my heart always goes out to those victims and their families. When it comes to skin cancer, there are 3 kinds. Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma, and Melanoma.

There are a ton of factors that may put you at risk for developing skin cancer but a common reason that many people forget is that a history of sunburns is a major one. Again, tanning is not unhealthy, burning is. Sunburns from your childhood and earlier years of your life are more likely to cause skin cancer down the road along with factors like, genetics, skin type, etc. Sometimes, skin cancer appears in places that dont even normally get exposed to UV light. There is such a long list at this point of things around us that *may* cause cancer, but there is a lot of options to doing things that will benefit your body and your health when done correctly and with the help of an experienced or certified professional.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk, now go out there and get yourself some D!… the Vitamin.

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