This is your square friend Joy here, reminding you that when someone says, "Wow, you look really tan," the proper response is not, "Thanks, you look great, too." (Unless that's how you would respond if someone said, "Wow, your skin looks irreversibly damaged on account of either your vanity or carelessness.")
You would think that tanning would be as out of fashion as smoking by now (actually, in the real fashion world, it's completely out of vogue), but I still hear things like,
"I don't need sunscreen because my skin doesn't burn."
"Storing up my Vitamin D for the winter!"
"My shrink suggested that I try a tanning bed for my SADS."
(And my personal favorite)
"I'm going on vacation in a couple weeks, so I'm getting a base tan. To be safe."
- Everyone needs SPF 15 or higher with UVA/UVB protection whenever he or she goes into the sun (even if it's winter or a cloudy summer day), regardless of race, skin type or skin tone.
- Vitamin D: Get it before 10 am. Otherwise it's like drinking a 1,500 calorie shake for the calcium.
- Your shrink is not a dermatologist.
- There is no such thing as a safe base tan, regardless of what the girl at the tanning salon (who is, interestingly enough, also not a dermatologist) says. Tan skin is damaged skin, even if it's in preparation for a vacation somewhere where "the sun is different than it is here." When you go on vacation, you should be applying sunscreen every two hours, staying out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, and wearing thin, long sleeve shirts and a hat when the sun is unavoidable.
We all know why, right? 1 in 5 Americans... most preventable kind of cancer... melanoma, squamous cell... basal cell... this 32 year old woman. Okay. I thought so. Just making sure. Renew your committment to protect your health and preserve your beautiful skin! Suntans are not a cute way to express your cool retro style.