Sunbed Pros & Cons

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Protecting your eyes is essential when using a sunbed.
Protecting your eyes is essential when using a sunbed. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Tanned skin makes you look healthy and because the bronzed color accentuates your body's contours, you appear to look slimmer. Lying in a tanning bed is just one way to get tanned skin. Tanning beds, as opposed to sunless tanning lotions and topical bronzing makeup products, use ultraviolet rays which increase your risk of skin cancer. Even though not the safest method, some people prefer to visit tanning salons to get bronzed skin.

Skin Cancer and Premature Aging

Similar to the sun, tanning beds use ultraviolet rays to tint your skin. Exposure to ultraviolet rays increases your risk of skin cancer and premature aging. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 74 percent of people using tanning beds are more likely to develop melanomas than those who don't use ultraviolet radiation to obtain a tan. The only difference between a tanning bed and sun exposure is that tanning beds are in an enclosed environment. Similar to sun damage, the damage brought on by tanning beds is irreversible.

Eye Damage

If you visit a tanning salon and just wear sunglasses or keep your eyes closed in the tanning booth, you are not sufficiently protecting your eyes. The University of Iowa states that the ultraviolet radiation level to your eyes is approximately 100 times greater than that of the sun. If you don't protect your eyes with the goggles meant to do so, you risk getting cataracts, corneal burns and retinal damage. Wearing protective gear is essential when tanning indoors.

Come Rain or Shine

The good thing about tanning beds is that they are available all year round, at any time. They allow you to have sun-kissed skin throughout the year. You are not dependent on the weather for your tan. You also don't have to think about the time of day, you can go late at night or early in the morning to get your tan. When tanning outdoors, you are solely dependent on the sun's presence.

Tan Lines

Sunbathing on the beach or at the pool is most likely restricted, meaning that you cannot bask in the sun without wearing a bathing suit. Unless you are visiting a nude beach, this means you will have to deal with tan lines. Tanning booths are private and if you want to avoid tan lines, you can simply remove all your clothing. You control your exposure to ultraviolet rays in a tanning booth.

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