Tanning alternatives for women at risk for skin cancer

My mom has had skin cancer for years now. Well, she’s encouraged me (since I was born) not to use the tanning bed and to always wear sunscreen.

But who wants to be white skinned? That clammy, pasty white that almost makes me want to throw up in my mouth when I look down at my legs . . . and they’re the color of toothpaste.

This summer it’s been killing me. I look down at my own legs, and look at every other female in the universe it seems–they are all tan and sexy, while I look bland and, well, white.

I was just curious about mom’s advice though. It’s easy to take someone’s word for it, but I wanted to know for myself. How harmful is the tanning bed, or just laying out in the sun until you get a nice, crispy summertime brown tan? As a young Christian woman, I know that I need to take care of my skin because I am a child of the King and my body is His temple. So I’ve been pondering.

Why is it cool to be tan? Why is it so attractive? It used to be sexy to be pale white (in the Victorian ages, LOL).

So is being tan as cool as it looks? No. I’ve found that each year skin cancer rates have increased. Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in the U.S.

The American Cancer Society has a neat little form you fill out online and you can see what your odds are like of getting skin cancer based on your skin type. Well my odds went up 75% after the first time of using a tanning bed!

I’ve never used a tanning bed, but hey, that was enough to convince me never to start. It’s not worth it. Now, you do have to know that since my mom has had skin cancer, and I have a fairly fair complexion, my odds are greater than some. But still.

I know that in God’s presence, there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). So I will derive my pleasure from being beautiful in God’s eyes and my skin being just as He created me in His image. I know God wants me to live a prosperous and happy life. That means using the brain he’s given me. So I guess I won’t use the tanning bed and be content with my skin as bland.

I don’t give up hope though–for tan skin at least. I will look into self-tanning cream and those spray tans that you can have applied to your skin in next week’s blog. Have you had experience with having tan creams or sprays? What did it look like? How long did it last? Would you recommend it to other Christian women who want to take care of their skin but still would like to have some color to their skin without damaging it and putting themselves at risk for skin cancer? Let me know! Comment below.


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  1. Air-Tan said:

    Hi Morgan! I enjoyed your article. If you have any questions on UV free tanning please let me know. I have an all airbrush tanning facility in Indianapolis http://www.air-tan.com We have been giving people a healthy alternative to our clients for over 6 years now. I also am very knowledgeable about many self tanners and UV free products. Take care! Angela

    August 6, 2009
  2. misschristine3425 said:

    Hi Morgan! I love your blog! you’re very talented. I just wanted to let you know, my sister and I both use the spray tans and love it! Sometimes you can get packages or they have deals throughout the week too. In particular, L.A Tan. They have deals like Tuesdays spray tans for 10 dollars. Or 3 spray for $33 4 for $44, etc. If you follow the instructions they provide, it works really well. It lasts about 8 to 10 days, longer if you buy those tan enhancing lotions (I like any of the dove glow ones) and use them like regular lotion. I have an extremely fair completion especially on my legs and stomach and it makes them look a lot better to me. not orange or anything. Again great blog!

    August 11, 2009

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