My mother is gorgeous. Truly, she could pass for a woman a decade and a half younger. That’s how healthy and wrinkle-free her skin is.
It’s through her example, and a little research, that I’ve learned how to care for my own skin. This post centers on tanning and its dangers. If you’re a regular tanner and are already pissed off, please read on. Seriously. This isn’t a roast (no pun intended), it’s an education.
Here’s a confession: I never tan.
I know, having said this, I’m risking the ‘attack of the tanner,’ both religious and occasional, but it’s true. I know it’s tempting. I’m not going to deny it; tanned skin makes you look thinner. It makes you feel beautiful. All I can say to those (even occasional!) tanners is that ANY color to your skin is skin DAMAGE. We’ve all heard about the free radicals and how they damage your skin and make it age faster, and you know what? It’s true.
But wait! Someone interjects. You get vitamin D from the sun and you’ve got to get your vitamin D!!
Yes, you get vitamin D from the sun. Actually your body makes vitamin D from the sun. And vit D is great. Helps you absorb calcium. It helps your immune system and muscle functions, etc.
Most people get all the vitamin D they’ll ever need by just walking around, doing their normal activities, wearing their normal clothes (as opposed to a bathing suit) outside on a daily basis. Any tanning beyond that is pure vanity.
There are exceptions.
The darker your skin color, the more sunlight you’ll need to produce a necessary amount of vitamin D.
If you live in a northern climate, you’ll need more sun exposure because there are less hours in a day for direct sunlight in general.
If you are elderly your body can’t produce as much vitamin D, so you’ll need more sun. Keep in mind though, that thin, elderly skin is tender skin that can burn and dehydrate easily.
If you have a sedentary job or are housebound for much of the day, you’ll need more sun.
Even with the above exceptions, however, these people would only need an additional 10 to 15 minutes in strong, mid-day sunlight with exposed arms and legs and no sunscreen. And these 10 to 15 minute ‘tanning’ sessions are only necessary about 2 to 3 times a week.
You’re probably wondering where I’m getting my information. Well, research it. Seriously, just research it on the internet from reputable websites. All I did was type in ‘what are the benefits of vitamin D’ and ‘hazards of tanning’ in the search bar.