Suntan-Oil - How protected are you?
Lots of people consider that a tan makes them more attractive and more healthy-looking, and so go out of their way to sit in the sun for hours and get one. However, this doesn’t always result in much of a tan, meaning that you will often have to sit in the sun for days on end to see any noticeable effects. The solution to this problem, at least supposedly, is sun tan oil. Tanning oils are there to make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, meaning that it absorbs more and therefore goes browner. This is controversial, as UV rays have been linked to skin cancer among other diseases, and it is believed that using tanning oils can lead to skin damage – a high price to pay considering the only reason to use them is, essentially, vanity. The alternatives leave a lot to be desired, though.
Using a tanning bed has the same problems in terms of skin damage, and costs a lot too. Fake tan tends to be very fake-looking, making you go more bright orange than brown, and it is hard to escape the feeling that you’re a little tragic if you use it. With this is mind, many consider the tanning oil alternative to be the best of a bad bunch. It is possible to go some way towards minimising the risks of tanning oil if you get oil that protects you from the sun at least to some extent (look for ones with SPF on the bottle), and try to only stay in the sun for half an hour or so. Since you have put on the tanning oil, it is very important not to stay out for too long, and this is the mistake that many people make.
Whatever you do, remember that tans are not really as healthy as people think they are: a tan is actually your body’s way of dealing with damage that has been caused by the sun, in an effort to stop you from getting sunburn. If you are going to have a tan, it’s wise to limit the times when you do rather than try to have one all year round, and to be very careful with the sun. If you hurt yourself now, you might not know about it until you’re 50 or even older, but when you find out it won’t be a nice surprise for you.
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