While many people believe that a tan gives them a healthy appearance, the truth is that it's far from it.
In fact, tanning is a sign of skin damage that can lead to premature aging and potentially deadly skin cancer, and this is particularly important to be aware of if you're in Australia where the sun's rays can be particularly strong.
First, let's dive into the science of what happens to our skin when we tan. The process of tanning occurs when our skin cells produce more melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its color. This increased melanin production is a natural defense mechanism of the skin to protect against UV radiation from the sun. However, the tan itself is a sign that our skin cells have been damaged by the sun's UV rays.
According to the Cancer Council Australia, the damage caused by the sun's UV rays is cumulative, meaning that each time we expose ourselves to the sun without proper protection, our skin cells accumulate damage that can lead to premature aging and skin cancer. This damage can lead to changes in our skin's DNA that can result in the development of cancerous cells.
The long-term effects of sun damage can result in premature skin aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. These signs of aging can make us look older than our actual age and can be difficult to reverse. Sun damage can also cause uneven skin tone and texture, making it harder to achieve a smooth, flawless complexion.
The most serious consequence of sun damage is the development of skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with more than 2,000 Australians dying from skin cancer each year. This is a frightening statistic is on the rise and is increasing even more in younger age cohorts.
So does this mean I can’t enjoy the sunshine?
Definitely not. Those glorious, warm sunny days do wonders for our mental health and make for great memory moments. You can still enjoy a day on the beach with a few adjustments:
- Wear sunscreen & reapply every 2 hours
- Wear a hat & sunglasses
- Stay shaded with an umbrella or cabana – there are some great options around now!
- Embrace a fake tan
So whilst that bronzed glow is something we have always lusted for, tanning is simply not a healthy option for achieving that beautiful glow. Time to embrace our natural skin tone and keep our skin healthy and beautiful for years to come – or simply, opt for a tan in a bottle!