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That warm weather and sunshine is finally here... it's tanning season!
That is, it's tanning season for those who haven't been tanning year-round in those claustrophobic tanning beds.
Let me get this out in the open.
I hate tanning beds.
We hear about the dangers of indoor tanning constantly, but that vision of standing in front of the mirror wearing your cute new swimsuit that compliments your sun-kissed skin oh-so-perfectly is enough to push away those warnings.
I'm here to warn you. Again.
The phrase I hear most often from my friends is, "I just need to go tanning a couple times before my vacation so I have a nice base tan and don't get burnt."
This reasoning can be proved irrational with the simple definition of what a tan actually is.
Don't get me wrong. I'm guilty of it, too. I went tanning in high school before school dances so I could feel just a little more beautiful in my dress. And while I did enjoy the warm bed and it was somewhat relaxing, my only thought while lying there was, "I feel like I'm getting cancer." So, I never went again.
From the cdc.gov website:
People who begin tanning younger than age 35 have a 59% higher risk of melanoma. Using tanning beds also increases the risk of wrinkles and eye damage, and changes skin texture.
Aren't cancer, wrinkles, and leathery skin the opposite of what we're going for?
Our social construct of beauty sure comes with a price, eh? That price is our natural beauty, and our health.
What about the sun?!
It's inevitable. It's Summer and we're going to be outside soaking up this sunshine as much as we can.
So when you go to the beach this summer, or you're catching some rays outside by the pool, just remember to be safe!
A tan is not worth your health and your skin will thank you for it.
And you know what else? You're already beautiful.
Don't ruin your family vacation because you forgot your sunscreen.
I don't know what it is about my skin, but I just don't tan very easily. People "joke" all the time, "You're Brazilian, but you're so white!"
Man, how I hated hearing that. I got over it though.
Even in my family I'm the white one. So when we were on a Caribbean cruise nine years ago, I did something drastic. One day I just didn't put on sunscreen.
The price I paid was literally painful.
Blisters appeared all over my chest, back, and shoulders. For days I couldn't take a shower or lie on the bed without screaming and crying in pain. My sister had to help me get dressed. And the worst part - I had to skip swimming and hiking through the cascades during our stop in Jamaica because my skin was too sensitive. Needless to say, it was awful and put a damper on my cruise. I certainly learned my lesson.
And yes, I understand everyone's skin is different, and not everyone will get blisters from going a day without sunscreen. Also, the strength of the sun certainly depends on where you are in the world. But just be mindful of how you treat your skin.
Now I've accepted my whiteness. Yea, I still stretch my legs out in the sun when I can, but I no longer forget the sunscreen!
How much SPF protection is enough?
According to the FDA, there is no proof that sunscreen with SPF 50+ provides any additional protection from UV rays than sunscreen with SPF of just 50. Also, there is no such thing as "waterproof" or "sweatproof" sunscreen, only water resistant and for a limited amount of time. You can read about all of this by clicking here.
So just remember, wherever your travels take you, or if you're just out enjoying that beautiful sunny day, be safe!
And no tanning beds :)
Hi there! I'm Skeeter. I grew up moving a lot and that makes me a bit restless for travel and exploration. I started this blog with my husband Pat when we decided to backpack New Zealand for a year. We are always looking for the next adventure and are loving life. We're just your average couple with two sassy dogs and a love for travel. We're sharing our travels and the tips we pick up along the way.
Hello! I'm Liz. Blogging is very new to me, but I'm so excited to finally write as much as I talk!
"Don't forget to travel happy"-Skeeter & Liz