As the number of Americans who utilize tanning salons as a controlled alternative to outdoor tanning grows beyond an estimated 30 million, we have become increasingly aware of the many benefits that can be obtained from regular exposure to sunlight. There is also in increased focus on the importance of managing the risks that come with overexposure to the sun and sunburns.
The Tanning Industry’s Base Belief
The professional indoor tanning industry’s scientifically supported position is summed up in this declaration: Moderate tanning, for individuals who can develop a tan, is the smartest way to maximize the potential benefits of sun exposure while minimizing the potential risks associated with either too much or too little sunlight.
This position is founded on the following tenets:
- Ultraviolet light exposure from the sun or from an indoor tanning unit is essential for human health, and getting it in a non-burning fashion is the smartest way.
- The professional indoor tanning industry promotes and teaches what we refer to as the Golden Rule of Smart Tanning: don’t ever sunburn.
- For the past decade, the indoor tanning industry has been more effective at teaching sunburn prevention than those who promote complete sun avoidance. Since the mid-1990’s, tanning industry research has supported what millions of indoor tanners have known all along–that non-tanners sunburn outdoors more often than people who tan indoors. The professional indoor tanning salon industry is part of the solution in the ongoing battle against sunburn and in teaching people how to identify the proper and practical life-long skin care regimen.
- A tan is the body’s natural protection against sunburn. Your skin is designed to tan as a natural body function.
- Every year, millions of indoor tanners successfully develop “base tans” before embarking on sunny vacations–tans that, combined with proper use of sunscreen outdoors, help them prevent sunburn.
- There are known physiological and psychological benefits associated with sunlight exposure, as well as many other potential benefits that require more research to fully understand. As sunlight is free and Vitamin D is a relatively inexpensive pharmaceutical product, research into the many benefits of Vitamin D has not funded nor pursued to its natural conclusion.
- The body produces Vitamin D naturally when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency has become a recognized epidemic in North American and overzealous sun protection practices likely have contributed to this.
- The risks associated with UV overexposure are manageable for anyone who has the ability to develop a tan.