Teens can’t tan
Guest post by Kelly Trickett
Has tanning become the new smoking? If teens want to achieve that sun-kissed glow for prom, they will now have to use self-tanner. Last week, the Ontario government passed legislation that bans the use of tanning salons by minors under the age of eighteen. Health officials have known for years that tanning can cause skin cancer and the risks only increase for people under the age of 35.
I will admit that I was a sun worshipper in my younger days. I spent my summers soaking up the sun at the beach with nothing more than oil as my protection. When the weather would start to cool, I would race to the tanning salon to keep that glow until Spring. Those ten minutes in the tanning bed would give me the sense of relaxation that I now get from yoga. It was like a warm hug in the cold winter months. But the disturbing fact was I knew better!
In my 20s, I worked for a cancer organization and I heard the heart-wrenching stories from girls my age that had been diagnosed with skin cancer. And yet I still jumped in the bed before I went off to a sunny destination because I needed that “base tan so I didn’t burn”. [read the "Base Tan Myth"]
There is absolutely no logic except my youthful ignorance that I was immortal and wanted to look “hotter”. I wish the government had protected me from my own stupidity.
I am blessed to have my health today but my skincare regime is forever changed because of the decisions I made as a young adult. Countless days worshipping the sun has led to sun spots and melasma. I have spent more than I care to admit on skin lightening regimes, peels, serums and any treatment that claims to reduce the appearance of brown spots and imperfections. I still love a beach vacation just as much as the next girl but now I worry about all of my hard work being reversed by a few moments in the sun. A tan might last until you next exfoliate but the damage can last a lifetime.