As the season has officially changed to fall here in the Midwest I have been thinking about the age old tradition of the tanning bed (DUN DUN DUN). All of us inlanders start getting vitamin D deficient and cold. So to seek some kind of comfort from the impending winter we turn to those big ole’ UV bulbs. I speak from personal experience… aka getting in that human oven once a day everyday for a solid year straight.
Why does everyone want to be tan?
It’s a mixture of science and trends.
Trends: Back in the days (like wayyy back) it was actually more attractive to be pale because it meant you were wealthy enough to not have to work outside in the sun. But then after a while it became a sign of health, due to looking more relaxed like you just got home from vacation.
Science: Serotonin is the hormone in your body that is involved with mood and sleep. Serotonin increases and decreases with the brightness of the sun to aid in sleeping cycles, so as the sun is less available so is the happy hormone, Serotonin. Also, Vitamin D as most of us know is best developed by sun exposure (not extreme exposure, like 15 minutes). Researchers are starting to connect vitamin D deficiency with a whole host of issues including, but not limited to, depression.
Lack of sun is not only un-cool but it’s making us depressed!
No wonder we seek out any form of artificial sun we can get our hands on!
Now I’m not here to tell anyone what to do. HOWEVER, take 1 minute to google “chemical peel” and I promise you’ll probably never go to a tanning bed ever again. Once you get old (and super wrinkly because you spend your younger years looking tan), you get the privilege of watching your face literally fall off…
And if the severe risk of skin cancer isn’t enough to sway you, let’s talk about energy. One tanning session takes about the same amount of energy as blow drying your hair. So your average tanning salon has about 15 beds that run pretty much all day, do the math and the amount of electricity it takes is un-freaking-real.
This is where the self-confidence comes in at. Everyone always talks about how you don’t need to be stick skinny or have the perfect ass to be beautiful. Same goes for your skin. Your skin tells your story. Scars talk about your past. Skin tone talks about your heritage. Skin health speaks to your present lifestyle. The only thing a tanning bed tan says about you is your future wrinkles and skin cancer scares.
So love what you’ve got, it will keep you and the environment much happier
Stay tuned for how to stay happy, healthy, and glowing this winter on tomorrow’s blog