Confessions of An Ex-Tanner
Posted on April 26 2016
Summer is approaching quicker than ever. Three more weeks until the end of my freshman year of college! Living in Southern California, it is a given that I will be at the beach nearly everyday. It is also a given that my peers and I are starting our summer tans so we can look our best at the beach-- they really make a difference!
Now, I am as pale as they come. My Irish and Welsh skin does NOT tan easily, but my gigantic ego and borderline obsession with vanity still motivates me to try and change that. With this, I have tried all different types of tanning.
I've done it all and I have come to several conclusions. My number one goal in this post, however, is to call out tanning beds and share my bad experience with them, as well as to offer some alternatives.
UV tanning in a bed or a booth is the most natural-looking tan you can create artificially, and that's because they are essentially just concentrated sunlight. It is a natural tan! But wait-- UV?? Aren't those the harmful rays that the sun gives off, you ask? Correct. Now, I could go into great lengths explaining why UV tanning is a bad idea, but all I am going to emphasize is this: if sitting in the sun without coverage is bad for you already, imagine sitting under concentrated sunlight that is much more powerful. Let's just say the effects are not good.
Besides the obvious one-- skin cancer-- there are other detriments to UV tanning, and I experienced side effects that made the tanning not worth it.
1. Weak Nails
I have been blessed with my grandmother's awesome genetics in terms of skin and nails. I've never had issues, and rather, I always get compliments on the freshness of my skin and the strength and length of my nails. They grow so quick, long and strong! My nails are by far my greatest accomplishment thus far, and my time tanning absolutely DESTROYED that. Within two weeks of tanning, my nails grew weak and easily cracked off. For months after I stopped, I had a cracks in my toe nails that took a very long time to grow out, as if the tanning completely stagnated their growth. Not to mention the fact that I had to stop getting gel manicures because the UV made my gel polish peel. Not. Worth. It.
2. Dry Skin
I also inherited my grandmother's beautiful porcelain skin, and I have never had to own a bottle of lotion or even an acne wash for most of my life. Tanning ruined that too. The multitude of lotions at my salon never seemed to help! After I would tan, my skin would get a little red, itchy, and flaky.
3. Red Spots On My Skin??
When I saw the red spots first show up, I thought I had skin cancer. It was some sort of rash that I still do not know any information about. When I started tanning, I did not read about mysterious rashes as a side effect...
4. Skin Tags (I Think)
Up until about six months after I stopped tanning, I kept getting these weird, pimple-like bumps on my skin that looked like dried up pores. I would pick at them and they would bleed. They were SO ugly and itchy and annoying! My skin finally healed, but not until six months after ceasing to tan in beds...
UV tanning was amazing in so many ways, but after a few months it was not worth it for me. It was SO nice to be able to wear anything and immediately look better. Tans make your muscles stand out and your tummy look flatter. I got lots of compliments, and of course that inflated my ego even more than it already is. But my side effects, combined with the constant risk of developing a disease at any moment, made it no longer worth it for me.
So far, I have done well with the whole tan issue. I did not continue my UV tanning membership this summer, but I still try to do lots of outdoor activities in my bikini to still get some sun. Hiking to the beach, gardening, and washing my car for example. I am currently hunting for my new favorite artificial tan! Here are a few of my pinned items:
1. Fake Bake $26
2. St. Moriz $10
3. Body Drench $10
4. Designer Skin $22
5. Bronze Doll $26
Thanks for reading and comment if you have any suggestions!
***Please note that all of these opinions are mine. I am not sponsored to show any of these products, they are solely my own suggestions.***