Love Your Skin Movement

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I heard something on the radio yesterday that really made my skin boil. A very well known Canadian Tanning Salon company had an advertisement on the radio.

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[Source]

It went a little something like this:

"Feel confident in your skin and look great with [insert company name here]. Say goodbye to pale and pasty skin! Tan the smart way!"

I was instantly ticked off.

From what I gathered, the commercial was telling me two things:

1) There was something wrong with my current skin tone

2) I could tan smart.

Oh really now.

Throughout my teens are early twenties, I was not immune to the pressures of tanning my skin. I tanned for my prom. I also tanned for a couple weddings that I was a bridesmaid in and I tanned for my own wedding.

I tanned on my honeymoon.

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I knew that I shouldn’t be doing it, but I did it anyways. I called myself an ‘event tanner’- I tanned for events I wanted to look my best for and the rest of the time I wore ample sunscreen.

What did tanning leave me with?

  • Premature aging of the skin
  • Fine lines due to the damage from tanning

Not cool.

I kept telling myself that I would just tan for special events and that would be it. Well, after my wedding last year I asked myself:

‘When would I ever be good enough? When would I start to challenge how I felt about my skin without a tan and put an end to this ‘event’ tanning?’

I had to face the cold hard truth.

I was tanning to cover up my insecurities.

The more I started to think about it, the more angry I got. Every where I turned, the media was telling me that pale skin was ugly and needed to be darkened.

Of course, magazines jumped on the Anti-tanning Bandwagon and started to promote using self-tanners.

But I couldn’t help but wonder still:

  • Why do we have to use ANYTHING?
  • Why can’t the skin colour that we are born with be good enough?
  • Why must it be lighter, darker, or different in any way?
  • Isn’t using a self-tanner still buying into the notion that we still aren’t good enough the way we are?

It is absolutely infuriating when you stop and think about all of the messages out there telling women to change their skin.

Well, I am here to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. And I want you to join me.

After my wedding last year I made another vow. This time it was to myself. I vowed that I would never set foot in a tanning salon again.

Here are some startling Canadian Statistics on Skin Cancer that may have you vowing to do the same:

Canadian Dermatology Association 2009 Skin Cancer Fact Sheet

Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Canadians.

It is also the most common cancer in the world.

• More than 75,100 Canadians will be diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer in 2009.
• Approximately 5,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2009 and 940 will die of it.
• Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer are the two most prevalent forms of this disease. Skin cancers, including melanoma, are highly curable if found and treated early.
• While less common, melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer since it can spread in the body and cause death.
• Canadians born in the 1990’s have two to three times higher lifetime risk of getting skin cancer compared to those born in the 1960’s. For those born in the 1990’s, there is a 1 in 6 lifetime risk of having skin cancer. For those born in the 1960’s, there is a 1 in 20 lifetime risk.
• The main cause of skin cancer is too much UV radiation.
Skin cancer is one of a small number of cancers that can be prevented through simple measures such as limiting sun exposure, seeking shade, wearing hats and clothing, and using an SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum sunscreen.
• There is a group of people at particularly high risk for skin cancer because of their skin type and amount of sun exposure. This includes those with: fair skin and blond or red hair; skin that burns and freckles easily rather than tans; a lot of sun exposure through outdoor work or recreation; many moles (> 50) or some large and unusual moles; a history of severe sunburns.
• Looking at all cancers found in the 15 to 29 age group, melanoma represented 7% of new cases in young men and 11% of new cases in young women, which may be attributable to social behaviours (seeking a tan), particularly in the latter group.

• The rising rates of skin cancer are placing increased demands on dermatologists. There are fewer than 650 dermatologists to treat Canada’s population of more than 30 million. The number of dermatologists in Canada is decreasing rapidly as the rate of retirement far outstrips the number of new dermatologists in training.
[Source]

The truth is, there is no smart way to tan.

I am ready to learn to love my skin colour and appreciate the beauty in it. So what if most models and actresses have tans. Just think of Nicole Kidman and Anne Hathaway. They are both two beautiful role models that pale skin is beautiful.

Here is what I am committing myself to:

  1. Absolutely no tanning beds. Zilch. Nadda. None.
  2. No Self-tanner. WE DON’T NEED TO CHANGE OUR SKIN COLOUR.
  3. Don’t buy into the media hype that only tanned skin = beautiful. Beauty is what you were born with!

It is time that we as women start to challenge not just the focus on excessively thin ‘ideals’ in the media, but about our skin colour too.

Since the beginning of time, women have been told that we are not good enough the way we are. I am sick of it!

I hope you will join me in committing to my Love Your Skin Movement. As women, we have the power to influence trends with what we spend our money on. Stop endorsing it, buying it, and supporting things that make you feel that you are less of a women if you don’t do ‘X,Y,Z’.

Are you with me? :)

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Do you feel the pressure to change the colour of your skin or to tan? Have you ever used tanning beds despite knowing that you shouldn’t?

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{ 146 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope October 12, 2009

OMG. I love this!! I have never fake-baked, but have laid out in the sun and guess what? I HATE IT!! I do not like tanning, it is hot and I hate being burned, so why did I do it? OTHER PEOPLE!! Just the other day, a male nurse at’ work said to me (in front of another nurse and a vented patient who were about to turn): GEEZ, YOU’RE SO PALE!!! I am not pale!!! I am white and I’ve been working 12 hours, argh.
Um, excuse me!? And that isn’t the first time I’ve received a comment like that.
But you know what?! Mirza has said numerous times that he LOVES my nice skin and he would not want me tan.
I always say what you’re saying in this post: why is tan considered beautiful and white considered NOT!?
I just say, hey, I may be “pale” now, but at least I won’t be prematurely winkled or fighting cancer.

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Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope October 12, 2009

lol wRinkled.*

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Maura October 12, 2009

I’m with you on this one. I even get flack from my mother, (who has had skin cancer removed,, mind you) about not being very tan. My response is and will always be, “Don’t try to make me feel bad about the fact that I take care of my skin.”
Right on. :)

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Jessica October 12, 2009

I am a pasty girl and was in Croatia in August, being called Snow White by family members. Thank you for pointing out that a healthy glow is not the result of a tan but of living well. I have no idea what they put in self-tanners but I can’t see them being a very healthy alternative. Keep it up girlie!!

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Michelle Gay October 12, 2009

I love this. I live in Australia and the rate of people who tan is amazingly high. However, I have to give it to them, because they require all little kids to wear hats at all times. However, the rate of skin cancer in men is very high here, because they don’t wear sunscreen.

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Tracey @ TropicalHappiness October 12, 2009

Want to know a little secret… in the recent pictures that you’ve posted of yourself, I’ve thought “Wow, look at her “light” skin and how beautiful she looks!” I seriously have noticed your not-so-tan-yet-still-gorgeous skin. It looks amazing and I think your post makes a lot of sense. So keep rocking your REAL & gorgeous skin!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2009

Awesome! :)

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Meghan@traveleatlove October 12, 2009

I have never been to a tanning bed, always grossed out by them for a variety of reasons, including the skin damage, possible bacteria, and coffin like setting! I had a few bad burns when I was younger, and that has totally scared me into slathering myself with SPF.

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Mellissa October 12, 2009

Love this post, I am a very pale blonde and I just don’t tan. I have learned to embrace my pale skin and just go with it.

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Marcia October 12, 2009

Hear hear!! My husband has to have a basil cell carcinoma removed this week. Not because of tanning, just because of inadequate sunscreen usage in So. Cal. I too see lines and age spots on my face from 12 years in So Cal being lackadaisical about sunscreen.

I used to look “young” for my age. Now I look, well, almost 40. Which I am.

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lizzy October 12, 2009

I live in Arizona, and have never been able to justify the SERIOUSLY CRAZY AMOUNT of people that pay for tanning beds here. I have gone maybe once or twice, mostly out of peer pressure to be “tan in the winter”, but realized a few things.

1. I LIVE IN ARIZONA WHERE SUN IS PLENTIFUL
2. Paying money for WRINKLES AND SKIN CANCER. ummm, are we all that dumb?!
3. Like you said, being pale should not be a BAD THING.

So what if I live where being tan is the norm. People abuse the sun, and tanning bads, and hello, too much self-tanner WILL MAKE YOU ORANGE lol

I can’t vow that I won’t use self tanner, because i do fitness competitions and it is something I must apply before going on stage, however, I do vow that the only tans that I will get are the natural ones from being out at the lake(where I sunscreen up!) or beach or swimming. No laying out for the purpose of being tan!

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shelly October 12, 2009

Oh my gosh, this is such a hard one for me! I only used tanning beds for a short period of time in college (b/c all my friends were doing it, ugh, worst reason ever) and have tried self tanner but am not a fan- it turns my cuticles brown no matter what I do! But for me, tanning outside is so appealing. I live in the south and everyone tans to a certain extent! I just love sitting by the pool or on the beach with my girlfriends and soaking up the sun. And I will admit that I feel more attractive with a tan. Over the years, I’ve tanned less frequently and now I do make sure to put on sun screen when I am outside (although I am allergic to most sunscreen and can only wear a few brands- it is a hassle!), but I certainly tan and sometimes burn in the summer.
But you are totally right. I even get compliments on my beautiful skin from my boyfriend in the winter when I am pale as a ghost…it’s time to learn to love my skin regardless of the color. I’m in! I may not succeed, but I will try. For me that will be no self tanner and putting on sunscreen more frequently.

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Vanessa (Last Night's Leftovers_ October 12, 2009

I adore this post. I’ve been anti-tan for as long as I can remember – including my teen years. Even when I was insecure about everything thing else, I felt just fine about my ghost-white skin and freckles!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2009

I love reading all of your thoughts ladies. I agree that all of you are perfect just the way you are!!! :)

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Eve October 12, 2009

What horrible marketing! I’ve even seen tanning salons advertising tanning beds as being a healthful way of getting vitamin D. What!? I’m not even sure how such a flawed message is legal!

I’ve never used a tanning bed, but I’ve tried fake tanners in the past and really disliked them. I have to say, I’m a bit skeptical about how healthy slathering on strong sunscreen every day is – I think down the road we might learn that all the UV blocking chemicals might take their own health tolls. This summer I opted to use a natural sunscreen (Aubrey Organics), which I suspect is not near as potent as the standard formula. However, coupled with my resolve to limit time spent in direct sunlight, I didn’t burn ONCE – and I am about as pale as they come. I think this is likely the healthiest route to take!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2009

Thanks for the suggestions RE: Aubrey…I will have to try it out. I have been looking for an organic sunscreen!

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Crystal October 12, 2009

Thank you for writing on this topic! I am curious though, if you are going to start to ‘love your skin’ and skin tone are you still going to alter it with makeup? I know that makeup isn’t as dangerous but isn’t it altering your looks as well, saying the real you isn’t good enough? Just curious.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2009

I love make up and use it for ‘events’ and I don’t ever intend on giving it up. For me it is a fun way to play up my features (not cover them up). As I move to purchasing more organic products, it is now something I can feel good about putting on my skin.

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Jen October 12, 2009

I know exactly which tanning chain you’re talking about – I’m not impressed with them right now either. My hubby and I have always pre-tanned for our Caribbean vacations (he never needed to because he’s got that skin tone that tans just walking to the store, but I’m fair skinned and would burn instantly in the Caribbean sun…but I digress…) We just got back from a cruise yesterday and I pretanned for it, at the hubby’s insistence. It felt so wrong because he’s just been diagnosed with melanoma. Needless to say, I won’t be going tanning anymore. What really ticked me off though, was that when the manager asked why my hubby hadn’t been tanning with me, her reaction to his diagnosis was not “oh, I’m sorry to hear that” (which I think would have been appropriate). It was “you know he didn’t get that from tanning, right? You can only get melanoma from getting sunburned…tanning is okay”. I didn’t know whether to be angry with her or feel sorry for her because she’s been so brainwashed by the nonsense that this tanning chain has fed her. This girl totally believes that the dermotologists and oncologists who study and treat skin cancer don’t know what they’re doing, and that the connection between sun exposure and skin cancer is all a crock. She’s in there frying her skin every day and getting paid for it. I hope she doesn’t end up with skin cancer down the road. If she does end up with it, she’s going to look back and realize how stupid she was to sacrifice her skin and health for the sake of a paycheque…not to mention all the b.s. she passed on to her clients because that chain told her to.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2009

I totally know what you mean about the brainwashing! The people who worked at the chains I have been to all seemed to say the same claims. Its sad really.
I’m really sorry to hear about your husband and hope that he has a speedy recovery. xo

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John October 14, 2009

“I totally know what you mean about the brainwashing!” You sure do, that’s why you slather on SPF all the time.

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Ashley October 12, 2009

Love this post! I *love* my pale skin and am so happy to be me. I have never fake-n-baked and I think it looks silly when girls are mega-tanned and/or orange.

I used self-tanner last May for a show I was in because our director wanted us to be darker. I refused to going to a tanning bed and used a self-tanner instead. It worked well for the three weeks I needed it, but I was so much happier to get back to the normal me :)

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Susan October 12, 2009

YES!! I’ve never tanned. I think it’s because I went to Germany as a teenager, where everyone tans, and saw 20-year-olds with age spots because of it. That pretty much scared me out of ever using a tanning bed. I’m VERY pale, so I’ve never been able to get a nice brown colour anyways. Just red or freckled :P Sun damage looks awful once you age too. Why would someone want to prematurely age themselves??

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Fallon October 12, 2009

All my life I was always really white! My nick name in Junior High was “Whitey.” Tanning never really was important to me. I remember in my teens on summer break I’d lay outside all day to tan, because it looked nice in photos and such. I never got dark. I would become red and have a small sun burn. Which really sucks! Then I broke out in hives from some tanning spray and after that I learned it not even worth it. I’m just going to ruin my skin and look older for my age, and increase my chance of skin cancer. So I stopped young and haven’t tried to tan since. I don’t get when people say, “OMG you are so white. You’re like a strobe light.” I just say, “Well at least when I’m 40 I’ll look 20.” That usually shuts them up with my sarcastic smile! I make sure to get enough sun for my Vitamin D, and if I’m lucky when I go out for a morning jog, I get color from that.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2009

Some ppl say the meanest things…geeze!
Rock your skin! :)

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JessicaR October 12, 2009

I spent five years tanning weekly, but stopped about a year and a half ago and am nicely pale as a ghost ;)

I do like to get a little sun every day if I can (for the Vitamin D), but not enough to give me a tan. I read a study that said 70% of U.S. children are Vitamin D deficient! I understand we aren’t supposed to bake in the sun, but I also don’t think we should be slathering ourselves with tons of chemicals — either in sunscreen or fake tanners — and thinking that’s okay. I haven’t found a single sunscreen or fake tanner that doesn’t clog my pores (on my face or elsewhere) so at the moment I’m not using either. (I’m not really interested in the fake tanner, but a mild sunscreen with no chemicals would be nice.)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2009

Fake tanners give me a huge rash!!

I want to experiment with natural/organic sunscreens too. I also worry about all the chemicals in them and the new reports that are saying that sunscreens can actually harm the skin.

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MarathonVal October 12, 2009

I loved this post, and I recently felt the same outrage as you when I heard a “study” talking about how tanning beds were not as harmful as the sun… what BS.

I tanned obsessively in high school and college, and I’m sorry to say that I have many more wrinkles than a 26 year old should have as a result!! Not to mention that obviously it was a very unhealthy choice to make.

Like you, I have decided 100% to never step foot in a tanning bed, ever. I am also trying to wean myself off self-tanning products in general.

However, where do we draw the line? Self-tanning products promote the image of beauty that society and pop culture says is beautiful and acceptable, but does that mean that hair color products and makeup are all to be banned, as well?

This is where I struggle…. I often feel the need to cut back as much as I can on these “beautification” rituals and try to wear as little makeup as I can because I think it’s important to love myself for who I truly am and what I really look like. But as we all know, it’s not that easy to just walk out the door sans makeup and to feel perfectly gorgeous and content with ourselves.

Sadly, while I have a lot of hope for the future in many ways (for example, I feel very confident that in 100 years all humans will be vegetarian for the sole fact that the earth will be unsustainable otherwise), I can’t imagine fathom a world where women do not need to color, tweak, change, and surgically alter ourselves in order to fit into the current “ideal”. But isn’t it nice to dream about??

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2009

I too struggle with the same questions about beauty rituals as you yourself do! In fact as I wrote the post I started thinking about tons of things. I guess tanning comes to the forefront of my mind because it is probably one of the most dangerous of all ‘beauty rituals’ that women are encouraged to do. While make-up and hair colouring are still quite toxic given the ingredients, they have not shown to be anywhere near as dangerous as tanning.
With the danger aside though, yes it is still thought-provoking to question where we draw the line. I guess that is an individual thing. For myself, I have decided to limit the dangerous types of beauty rituals that I used to give into.
Another one that comes to mind (that I have never done only heard about) is the Brazilian Hair Straightening. It is supposed to be very risky and thousands of women do it every year.

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Lindsey @ Sound Eats October 12, 2009

I wish more people (especially young girls) realized how dangerous tanning is (in a salon or outside). Living in Florida, it is so scary how many people, especially older people, have skin cancer, even just from “normal” sun exposure through daily activities throughout their lives (“normal” in Florida is pretty intense). This is why it’s so important, esp. for runners and joggers, to make sure you lather up the sunscreen when you’ll be outside for prolonged periods of time!

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Alyssa October 12, 2009

OMG!! This could not have been a better day for this post! Guess what I did THIS MORNING??? yep, I went tanning at my gym! I probably aged myself a few years in the same place I to to try and keep myself from aging.. and why? well, (event tanning) my boyfriends cousin is getting married this weekend..heaven forbid I was pale in my strapless dress! Well, AS I AM WRITING THIS,I LOOK LIKE A LOBSTER!!! My face is on fire because my skin wasnt used to the lights (or was just trying to tell me not to do it)! And the sick thing is, I did it to myself! and for what? I have no good reason that I am feeling sunburnt other than I was too insecure to wear my dress wthout a tan! STUPID! and the thing that is even more sad is that my skin is actually very nice when I dont have a tan..im just so “white” compared to my other friends that I feel i need to tan. Well, NO MORE!! in fact..my boyfriend called me out today and said that I only did it becasue I am insecure! hes right. well, if there was ever a day I needed a wake up call today was it..
THANKS ANGE!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2009

This really speaks to me…

“I probably aged myself a few years in the same place I to to try and keep myself from aging.. and why?”

You really hit the nail on the head there.

I used to tan at the gym too!

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laura October 12, 2009

I’m so glad you wrote this! For the last few years I’ve been darkening my hair, “to bring out my eyes” – but unless my skin is darker than it is naturally (I’m fair and light-haired), the dark hair makes me look exhausted and washed out. so I spend all summer trying to get color on my face without burning (which never works, btw), and all winter I use ridiculous amounts of bronzer, and then I have to use a pencil to darken my eyebrows so they don’t look lighter than everything else (which washes out my eyes) – ugh! seriously? why don’t I just leave my coloring alone and concentrate on using sleep, exercise, joy, and nourishment to make me look radiant? I’m all for playing with hair and makeup colors but when I’ve got to be adjusting everything about my appearance to keep up? no thanks! I’m officially letting the dark hair fade and embracing the fair, golden-olive skin tone I’m so lucky to have!

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Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now October 12, 2009

That is such a great way of thinking! It’s obviously easier for me to hop on the NATURAL skin color bandwagon now that it’s getting closer to winter, but I think it would be helpful to read this again next summer!

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Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance October 12, 2009

I only tan while at the pool with my daughter and with TONS of sunscreen on as I have always done since I was a child and spent many of the summer hot days in the sun.

I am with you!!!

=) Laura @ Finding A Healthy Balance (after a 100+ POUND weight loss)

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 12, 2009

I used to tan the same way thinking it would be the last time. It is so dangerous!

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kay (eating machine) October 12, 2009

love this!
the biggest realization about tanning for me came when i stopped with beds/self tanner…
suddenly, i got TONS of compliments… on my pasty white skin! (and i am as pale as them come… i use the lightest shade of foundation). I never knew how good my skin was till I accepted it for what it was… and it was great when I realized it was better for me, saved me money, and was no maintenance-plus i looked BETTER that I did tan!

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Amandamoo October 12, 2009

Okay… I have to say something… I tan 2-3 times per week for 10 minutes in the oldest tanning bed I can find… I have atopic dermatitis and have suffered for my entire childhood and adult life with rashes and skin breakdown that made dermatologists say, “hmmm.. that’s the worst case of eczema I’ve ever seen… what haven’t you tried?” I tried everything. I continue to try everything. I have spend thousands of dollars in attempts to heal my skin from the inside, from the outside, from every which way you can think. There have been times when I have gone weeks without sleeping because I itched so bad. I would draw blood scratching the 90% of my body that was covered in rash.

I thank God for tanning beds because, for some reason, the small amount of concentrated UVB light (not even enough to change the color of my skin) actually helps my skin heal itself and reduces the redness, itching, and potential for breakdown.

In addition, as I continue to recover from an eating disorder that I suspect originated from never being physically comfortable in my own skin, the UVB light lifts my mood and supports the self-nurturing that must happen in ED recovery.

I’m sorry for the long-winded comment, I’m just very passionate about not declaring anything absolutely negative (or positive for that matter). Speaking in absolutes is part of what has created so much hatred in the world.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2009

Thanks for sharing your story. I have never heard of a tanning bed helping with skin conditions…that is quite amazing. Of course there are exceptions to every rule and you have to do what works for you!

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Maria October 12, 2009

I hate tanning beds. I think they should be banned. I sometimes lay out by the pool, but I usually have sunscreen on. I just like the warm sun. I used to think dark skin was beautiful but now I know every color is beautiful-natural skin color that is. Love what you have! I am with you, no tanning for me!

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Jolene October 12, 2009

I am SO with you! My hubby always says that we should tan before a hot vacation so that we don’t burn on vacation, and I always try to explain to him that this is a stupid idea … I will try again this year.

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Jil October 12, 2009

Angela,

I used to think the same way about tanning…and even now, I’m not immune to call of beach weather and a lounge chair. However, I have one BIG BIG BIG reason to fully support your Love Your Skin movement. That huge reason is my cousin Ted. My cousin has been battling melanoma since 2000. He had Stage IV Melanoma — and through years of tough fighting, tons of treatments including chemo, surgeries, & IL-2 injections. He, by some miracle, is currently cancer free… During his chemo, etc. he found the strength to still work and to even run a half-marathon and raise money for melanoma research! His story is amazing, and he’s an amazingly strong guy.

So yeah, HE is my reason that I absolutely 100% support your movement! If you’re at all interested in his story — he heads the “Go to Hell Mel” organization at http://gotohellmel.org/

- Jil

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Dori October 12, 2009

I never tanned in a tanning bed but I have gotten airbrush tan. I’d already decided never to do that again! What a waste of money when I look better without it anyway. So I am on board for this movement — except one little thing. What about makeup/bronzer? I don’t think I can give my “glow” up! I love having some color in my face!

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Marci October 12, 2009

I like to go for herbal spray tans occasionally- just because it evens my skin tone, which is not porceline white, but I wouldn’t lay in the sun or tan on a bed.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with liking the look of tanned skin, its a choice just like some like tattoos and some don’t, but I do agree that UV tanning causes cancer and should be avoided.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2009

I don’t deny that I like the look of tanned skin. I love myself tanned. But I need to work on loving my skin with no colour too!

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Nelly October 12, 2009

this afternoon i heard something on 680 news radio…apparently, another well known tanning company, or perhaps the same, not sure…is getting on the breast cancer bandwagon…promoting vitamin D as an aid to help prevent it…that actually made me sorta fume a little…i don’t think that fake tanning is the way to go in order to get vitamin D…at this point i guess these companies will do anything to get customers…

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2009

Yup I heard that one too.

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Amber@theminimalistdiaries October 12, 2009

Wow. This post definitely hit home for me and I am with you all the way! I lived on an island most of my life and tanned every summer until I was 15. I am 26 now and earlier this year I had a mole removed and it turned out to be melanoma. Luckily I caught it early (with no help from doctors who told me the mole was fine multiple times), had surgery and I am ok now. This is the main reason I started reading healthy living blogs, starting with yours actually :) I have read so many posts about pesticides and chemicals and how horrible they are for your skin and I am so happy that you have brought attention to the horrible damage the sun can do to your body. I would never wish anyone to go through what I have and what so many others have.

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Jess October 12, 2009

I used to be an event tanner as well. But then I got to thinking one day, if I’m so passionate about eating healthy and so careful about what I put into my body and make time to exercising often, why would I counteract that with tanning?! Good post, Angela!

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White Rabbit October 12, 2009

I too live in Australia and most people down here will remember the story of the lovely Clare Oliver , who at only 26 (my age, actually) lost her battle with melanoma. Clare went public with her cancer battle as she used to be a regular solarium user and wanted to warn others of the dangers of tanning. She has left behind a wonderful legacy but what a heart-breaking story. It’s not worth risking your life just to conform to a societal ‘ideal’. We should all remember Clare and honour her by taking on board her message.

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Morgan October 12, 2009

As a pale girl with freckles, I couldn’t agree more! After years of lifeguarding, and dealing with sun poisoning every summer, I finally just stopped. I spend my time on the beach in the shade with a hat on. The only time my bikini body is exposed to sun is when I am in the ocean.
I actually posted an Operation Beautiful note the other day on a package of fake tanner. Embrace the beautiful skin you have!

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Niki October 12, 2009

AMEN SISTER!! I have fair skin and throughout high school resisted the pressure to use tanning booths, though I did use self-tanner. In college I started going to tanning salons for a few months during the winter, and then I ended up tanning for my wedding, too. Like you, after my wedding I said NO MORE.

I have been learning to embrace my fair, porcelain skin (no way am I going to use the words “pale” or (eesh) “pasty”. I, too, think of fair-skinned beauties like Anne Hathaway and Kate Winslet whenever I feel pressured to tan.

Thanks for posting on this very important topic! Embracing your natural skin tone and wearing SUNSCREEN is one of the most healthy things you can do for yourself!

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Jamie October 12, 2009

I worked at a tanning salon for years and was constantly tanning. I always knew it was bad for me, but ignored it because I really enjoyed being tan. Recently my dad was diagnosed with skin cancer and that was a really eye opening experience for me. I’m tan free ever since! Oh, and you really do get a bit brain washed working at a salon!

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