Indoor Tanning Won’t Make You Feel Better

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We’re sure that the last thing you need is another warning about how bad tanning beds are for your skin. But now there’s yet another reason to add to the list of why you should avoid them—your mental health.

It turns out that 45 percent of tanning bed users surveyed by Cancer Research UK said that they were unhappy with their bodies. In contrast, only 36 percent of those who don’t use tanning bed said they were unhappy with their bodies.

The researchers also found that eight out of every 10 tanning bed users who reported that they were unhappy also said that they felt pressured to change their appearance. Most of them blamed this on peers, celebrities and the media. Researchers say that this pressure in addition to the knowledge that they’re damaging their skin is what's causing their poor self-image. 

“We live in an image-obsessed culture and know many sunbed users continue to use them because they think they look better with a tan,” says Cancer Research UK’s senior health campaigns manager Caroline Cerny. “But actually they are making their skin look worse in the long run. The more unhappy they are with the skin they’re in, the more they may use sunbeds – it’s a vicious circle.”

What's your safer alternative to indoor tanning?