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Should indoor tanning be illegal?

Alexandra asks: I am just dying to find a good self tanner!! I don’t want to go tanning indoors, and I’ve used the Jergens stuff for about a month and I’m not getting the results I want. Are there any good products out there that won’t turn me into an orange?

The Right Brain understands tans:

It’s not surprising that the Jergens product isn’t giving you a great new tan. It has very low levels of DHA (the active ingredient that stains your skin) so you really won’t get a dark change in color. Neutrogena’s Micro Mist spray product contains more DHA so you might try that. (Read our previous posts to learn more about sunless tanning.)

Sunless-tan vs Indoor tan

While self tanning technology isn’t perfect, it is a good alternative to indoor tanning which exposes you to ultraviolet radiation that has been identified as a known carcinogen by the Department of Health and Human Services. To ensure that everyone understands the risks associated with tanning the US has passed a new law to explain the dangers.

The TAN Act

The new law is officially called the Tanning Accountability and Notification Act, or TAN Act for short. It directs the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make sure that the language and positioning of the warning labels used on tanning devices clearly communicate the risk of irreversible damage to the eyes and skin, including skin cancer.

Why you should care

According to Diane R. Baker, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology, “The current labeling on tanning equipment inadequately explains the serious risks associated with indoor tanning.” This lack of information increases the risk for the estimated 30 million people (including 2.3 million teens) who tan indoors. While they are not all linked to tanning, over 1 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year. The TAN Act should lead to measures that will dramatically reduce the risks associated with indoor tanning.

Considering the known dangers, some people wonder if indoor tanning should be illegal. In that sense, this issue is a bit like the anti-smoking campaign. Should the government protect us from things that are known to be dangerous even though they give us pleasure? Leave a comment and tell us what you think: Should tanning beds be illegal?

Source: Global Cosmetic Industry Magazine

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