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For many young people, having that golden tan is considered healthy, beautiful and sexy.

Now that spring break is here, everyone is looking to get that fabulous tan they’ve been waiting all winter for. Some of you will head to your destination sans sunscreen and ready to bake that pale skin.

Tanning Under the Sun

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However, there have been many studies that show the dangers of tanning and how many young people are becoming more and more addicted to it.

Whether you’re tanning under the natural sun or under a bunch of bulbs, both have their pros and cons that you should consider.

Tanning outdoors

Pros

If you’re looking for a natural tan, it doesn’t get any more natural than tanning under the sun.

Tanning by the natural rays of the sun gives the body vitamin D.

This vitamin plays a vital role in your body: it maintains both muscles and bones so that the body can properly develop and heal itself.

A lack of vitamin D can actually lead to a number of medical disorders like cancer, high blood pressure, kidney disease and many others.

While you shouldn’t sit outside and roast your skin in the sun, getting a healthy dose of sunlight each day is actually good for you.

Cons

Although tanning by the sun is natural and provides the body with vitamin D, it can also be very dangerous if your body becomes overexposed to the sun.

Overexposure of the sun speeds up the aging of the skin. The sun can burn the skin causing age spots and discoloration or worse, can cause mutations in your genes and lead to skin cancer and a slew of other health problems.

Tanning at a salon

Pros

There are hundreds of tanning salons across the country. The major convenience of tanning salons is that they’re fast and you don’t have to wait for the summer sun in the middle of winter.

With newer technology, tanning indoors reduces the time you’ll lying in a tanning bed. While tanning in general burns the skin, since the time in a tanning booth has been reduced this means that you’ll have less have a chance of burning.

Cons

UV rays are UV rays no matter how you get them or how long you are under the bulbs. This type of light is bad for your skin and can cause genetic mutations which can definitely lead to several types of skin cancer.

Sunless Tanning Sprays & Lotions

Sunless tanning is an option many people choose and is probably the safest method of tanning—it’s quick, safe and solely works on the outer layer of your skin.

No UV rays are involved and chances are, you won’t get cancer from it (at least no studies have proved otherwise).

If you’re not sprayed properly, you can be left with a really bad application that’ll leave  you streaky or looking like a zebra. Some sprays look natural, but others can leave you looking orange like an oompa-lumpa.

Also, you can be left sticky for up to eight hours. Not to mention, the mess you have to clean up afterward—it can turn your clothes and your sheets brown.

Final word on tanning: with sun or without it

Tanning can cause serious damage if you’re sitting outside or under bulbs for hours, baking your skin. Not to mention, tanning beds can be very dangerous for your eyes without the proper protection.

If you’re looking for a nice golden tan, try sunless first and if you really need that “authentic glow,” spend SOME time outside, but limit your exposure substantially so you do not harm yourself.

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