Don't have an account? To participate in discussions consider signing up or signing in
facebook connect
Sign-up, its free! Close [x]


  • okay Create lasting relationships with other like minded women.
  • okay Blogging, let your voice be heard!
  • okay Interact with other women through blogs,questions and groups.
  • okay Photo Album, upload your most recent vacation pictures.
  • okay Contests, Free weekly prize drawing.
  • okay Weekly Newsletter.

Many people visit tanning salons for the convenience. They want their skin to have that bronzed glow without spending a lot of time to achieve it. Gyms and tanning salons have responded by increasing the number of tanning beds available for the customers. But, are tanning booths safe? Are you allowing your skin to be damaged without even realizing it? You may be surprised to learn how tanning beds work and you might want to consider giving your tanning bed fix a thumbs down.  

Free From Ultraviolet Rays?

First, you may not realize that tanning booths work by emiting ultraviolet rays. These rays have the same damaging effect on your skin and DNA as those from the sun. Just as most dermatologists recommend avoiding the sun, you should also avoid UV exposure generated by tanning booths.

Tanning booths bathe your skin with both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are responsible for sunburns  (amongst other things). While UVA rays don't cause sunburns, they're longer than UVB rays and penetrate more deeply under the epidermis. This causes your skin to produce melanin and eventually tan. Because most of a tanning salon's customers want to have tanned skin, the beds are typically calibrated to emit 95% UVA rays and 5% UVB rays. This reduces the likelihood of a sunburn while increasing the chances of producing the tan that most customers want.  

The unfortunate downside of this is that exposure to UVA rays can cause the same skin and cellular damage as those from the sun. And, because of the calibration of the tanning booth, focusing more on the UVA rays, the exposure can actually have more dangerous long-term consequences than if you're outside in the sun.  

The Protective Base Tan

Some people claim that visiting a tanning booth can be beneficial because the tan provides a protective base over your skin. That way, when you're outside, your skin is naturally shielded from the sun's UV rays. In truth, a tan can't provide protection over SPF 6. For true protection, most healthcare professionals will recommend a sunscreen that offers at least an SPF 30 with protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Photostable broad spectrum protection can be found in a range of [Link Removed] such as Anthelios.

A Safe Way To Tan

The only truly safe way to tan is to use an autobronzer or self-tanning product like [Link Removed] You'll be able to enjoy the rich color you desire without damaging your skin or increasing the chances of developing skin cancer.

If you care about the health and appearance of your skin, give the tanning booth a miss and protect your skin with a well formulated, photostable UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen whenever you're exposed to the sun.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed] 

Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.


Member Comments

About this author View Blog »