Tanning beds: hot or not?

Tanning beds are known for giving people a summer tan at any time of the year. Most people love the sunkissed look, but there are many downsides to tanning beds.



A look inside of a tanning bed at Tropical Tan in Antioch Ill.

Tropical Tan, located on 915 Toft Ave, in Antioch Ill is one of the many tanning salons nearby. Customers can buy tanning lotion, eye protection and select the tanning bed level along with how the duration of time wanting to tan; 12 minutes is the max for certain beds at this salon.

Tanning beds use lights that emit UVA rays; the UVA rays in tanning beds are stronger than the UVA rays received from the sun, which is why most people look tan or sunburnt within 12 minutes. Michela Rosenthal is a junior at ACHS; she has been working at tropical tan for 3 months and enjoys the customers and co-workers.  

“The atmosphere is really chill; I get to interact with so many great people,” junior Michaela Rosenthal said.

According to Verywellhealth, going to just one session at the tanning salon before age 35 increases the risk of melanoma with every session. Tanning beds are known to cause skin cancer, especially in young girls with fair skin. If customers do not wear protective eyewear in tanning beds, even if someone’s eyes are shut, it is a possibility that the beds can burn someone’s corneas or skin cancer around the eyes and a person’s vision can become worse with every session. 

“I only wanted to go tanning for a certain amount of times because of the risks,” junior Alex Lehn said. 

Tanning beds are becoming more and more popular among high school students. Some students like the tan for cosmetic reasons. Most tanning salons have red light tanning beds to help minimize the appearance of acne. Others may see this as a therapeutic time and a form of self-care, but in the long run, those who regularly use tanning beds can possibly see their skin age at an accelerated rate compared to those who do not tan. 

 “I don’t tan often, I did for homecoming and I loved being tan,” Rosenthal said. “It definitely made me feel more confident.” 

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, becoming addicted to tanning is a real risk; when someone does not get a steady dose of UV rays, they may feel fidgety or depressed. If it is the tanned look someone craves, a cosmetic, or spray tan is always an option. People can apply a cosmetic tan at home or have it done by someone who is certified; places such as Tropical Tan supply this service; cosmetic spray tans has little to no risk to someone’s skin’s health. 

Most people will go to the tanning salon without doing research and knowing the risks first. It may be relaxing, and one will look tan, but it is important to know the needs and harms to one’s skin first.