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Tanning Sunbed Benefits

Updated on April 9, 2010

One of the best ways to keep your tan throughout the winter months involves the use of tanning sunbeds.  The use of these sunbeds is fairly controversial but but this doesn't stop people from using them.  In fact, most research points to the fact that commercial tanning salons and home use tanning beds are becoming more and more popular all the time.  Now the risks associated with tanning and sunbeds are well documented.  For the most part, everyone knows that sun tanning and skin cancer really go hand in hand.  That said, there are a few benefits - other than a sweet looking tan - that indoor sunbeds offer.

A Tanning Sunbed
A Tanning Sunbed

Before we go any further, I think it's important to mention the fact that I'm not a doctor. If you're going to start using a tanning sunbed, please do a boat load of research before you start. There is a ton of great info online that can get you started. Check out a few forums to get real advice from real people. It would also serve you well to talk to your doctor about what you can expect if you start tanning indoors.

The Benefits Of Indoor Tanning

I've basically broken all of the benefits associated with tanning into three separate categories - Mood, Health and Convenience.

Mood Benefits Of Sunbeds

I don't know about you, but I like being warm.  I find it really hard to leave a hot shower in the morning just because I love the feeling of warm water covering my body.  This is one of the reasons why men and women like using tanning beds during the long cold winters.  It just feels good to get out of the cold for a while. 

Research suggests that warmth and sunlight also have a positive effect on one's mood.  SAD is short for seasonal affective disorder.  This condition affects folks who are particularly sensitive to the winter months when it's dark and cold for most of the day.  The symptoms of SAD are typical of most depression disorders.  They basically feel "bummed out" for a lack of a better term.  Well, tanning beds can help people who suffer from this.  A shot or two of UV rays once a week can really help to brighten your mood - regardless of whether or not you actually have SAD.  Make sure you talk to your doctor before hitting the sunbed though.

Health Benefits Of Sunbeds

This statement is almost an oxymoron nowadays.  Most professionals agree that any health benefits associated with tanning don't make up for the health risks that come with this practice.  That said, here are a few arguments FOR tanning.

If you like the idea of being able to stay outside during the summer without worrying about getting a sunburn, indoor tanning may be able to help you.  You see, using a sunbed periodically throughout the winter can actually toughen up your skin to a certain degree.  It's thought that a tan provides protection from the sun to a degree of SPF 2 - 4.  Now, when you consider the fact that your average sun tanning lotion has an SPF level of 30, this isn't much.  It is better than nothing though.  Please note that having a tan isn't good enough for protection if you're going to be spending a lot of time outside on a hot day.  Make sure you get yourself a good sunscreen and apply it liberally before venturing out.

Tanning sunbeds also offer vitamin D as a benefit.  Vitamin D is responsible for a number of things.  It helps the bones in your body absorb calcium to keep them strong and also serves to fight off cancer.  You can get this vitamin from the sun as well but we all know that this may be tough to do during the winter.  Find an indoor tanning salon that uses low pressure tanning sunbeds and visit them once in a while.  Note that newer, more expensive high pressure tanning beds don't offer as much vitamin D as their low pressure counterparts.

The Convenience Of Sun Tanning Beds

This is really one of the main reasons why commercial tanning salons are so popular these days.  People just don't have time to go to the beach and lie on the sand trying desperately to get a tan all day.  Everyone is crazy busy with work and school and family and what not.  Sunbeds allow people to tan with only a couple sessions a week.  Often these sessions are only 20 minutes long as well.

The other downside of proper tanning revolves around the fact that it's very hard to control.  If you don't put in enough time, you won't be dark enough.  Conversely, if you're fair skinned like me, spending too long in the sun can result in a serious burn.  This isn't a good look at all!  Tanning beds allow you to control exactly how dark you want to be.

Again - All modern science points to the fact that tanning(of both the indoor and outdoor variety) aren't good for you.  Do a lot of research and talk to your doctor before going after that golden glow.



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      Maria Cole 7 years ago

      You can also find some great deals from on new beds for your home or salon. Great hub, thank you!

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      hi there my names Lauren. I'm really cool. What's your name ? :)

    • HBAQueen profile image

      HBAQueen 7 years ago from Malibu

      Well said Ade... Thanks for your input!

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      Ade 7 years ago

      The issue for those involved in the Sunbed industry is to be sensible and also responsible. Promoting a balanced approach to tanning is what is required. Allowing those to use a sunbed, Monitor their use, offer advice and alternatives such as of course self tan products.

      There are documented advantages and disadvantages, and the consumer needs to be able to make informed decisions.