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What Are the Dangers of Tanning Oil?

By Bryan Lutz ; Updated December 05, 2018

Whether you’re heading to the beach or lying out in your backyard, tanning is a popular across the nation. Unfortunately, maintaining that “healthy” glow can be a potentially dangerous endeavor over time if you don't take proper precautions. Knowing the dangers of tanning and using products like tanning oils can help keep you safe while you’re out in the sun.

Cancer

While tanning oils themselves aren’t harmful to the human body, it’s what they are used for that can cause some serious problems. Extended exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet light can cause skin cancer cells to develop, leading to severe medical complications in the future. According to the National Cancer Institute, women who use a tanning bed more than once a month are 55 percent more likely to develop malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

Skin Aging

In addition to increasing your risk of developing skin cancer, prolonged exposure to UV rays, both natural and artificial, can damage your skin cells and cause them to age prematurely. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, up to 90 percent of the signs of skin aging comes from exposure to the sun. Signs of skin aging include wrinkles, brown spots or patches, and the development of a leather-like texture.

Prevention

If you still feel the need to maintain that tanned, golden glow despite the dangers, there are ways you can help protect yourself and still look bronzed. If you’re going to use tanning oils, use one that has some SPF in it, to help block out some of the sun’s harmful rays. Also, stay away from indoor tanning. The light from those beds emits only ultraviolet radiation, a proven carcinogen, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Get a spray tan as an alternative if the sun’s rays aren’t readily available.

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