Alrighty folks...it's now everybody's favorite time of the year...Summer time!!! *cue "Summertime"* I know that EVERYONE knows how to stay protected in the sun, but the thing is, in today's society, tan, is a good thing and a beautiful thing. I confess that I used to LOVE being about 10 shades darker than the slightly 2 shades above glow-in-the-dark skin tone that I am currently sporting, but I don't anymore. I'm okay with being pale! Pale is good! Pale is pretty! Being purposely tan isn't necessarily healthy for you either. You are exposing yourself to UVA and UVB rays that can/will damage and age your skin. "But Alyx, what are UVA and UVB rays?" Well folks, it's time for a little Theory Time With Alyx *cue theme music*!
The Sun (yes the big bright yellowish-gold thing in the sky....most days) emits various forms of radiation and rays, but it also emits essential nutrients, which is why you should play outside more when you are young so you can grow! Everything on Earth needs to be exposed to the Sun, but Humans really only need about 15 minutes of Sun exposure per day. Which is why we try to send our young children outside to play...they too need the Sun in order to grow, like a flower...or a weed...depending on the day of the week. Two of the harmful rays that the sun does emit that our fragile human bodies soak up are UVA and UVB rays. Both rays are bad for us and of course we soak it up like a sponge in water. Both rays have their special powers...like mutants. The UVA rays cause aging, which is why they are UVA rays. A = aging. The UVB rays are the rays that cause you to tan/burn...mostly burn! B = burning. When you burn, you are damaging your skin and the cells inside! That isn't good. Your skin is the only thing between you and every disease and infection on Earth. So you want to protect it! Thus why we wear sunblock. You are technically supposed to wear SPF50 when you are doing outdoor activities, but when is the last time any of us read the instructions/terms and conditions on anything? The number SPF is the number of times longer it will take for you to burn than if you weren't wearing sunblock at all. So for all of the people who take tanning oil with SPF4, they are basically contradicting the purposes of the SPF because they are still absorbing the UVA/UVB rays, thus still damaging their skin.
Theory time is over now! If you like being tan, that's great, more power to you. I'm not here to judge! I'm here to give advice. But there are SAFER ways to be tan than going out in the sun for hours and hours or laying in a tanning bed...yeah, those are bad for you too! Same rays and all. There are so many other options for tanning that won't cause you to age and damage your skin! Here are a few:
- Tanning Lotions (Nivea, Jergens, etc)
- Spray Tan
These are much safer and just as effective as laying out and tanning. But one thing with some of the tanning lotions and sprays is that you have to know the boundaries. There is a fine line between "sun-kissed" and "I just rolled around in a bag of Doritos"! Know the difference! Jennifer Aniston is the perfect example of sun-kissed! She isn't pale, but she also doesn't resemble a leather purse. An example of "I just rolled around in a bag of Doritos" would be...Snooki circa first season of Jersey Shore or any Desperate Housewife of a tanning salon! It's not cute!
So I guess the moral of this story is, be safe and know the difference between sun-kissed and "where'd my Doritos go?"!
Until next time! Stay Bold!