Health Female Adda
1 year ago
The Dumbest Thing You Can Do For Beauty

We’ve known for years that the use of tanning beds is correlated with double, or even triple, the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. As if that wasn’t bad enough, new research shows that the wake-n-bake boxes are even worse than we thought.

A review examining 12 studies of nearly 81,000 people, published in the journal BMJ, reveals that there’s also a strong correlation between indoor tanning and a greater risk of developing two other common types of cancer: squamous cell and basal cell cancers. And for those who used tanning beds before age 25, the risk of developing one of those two types of cancers was even higher. (And that's not the only cost of tanning without sunscreen.)

But say you’ve already logged time in a tanning bed. What now? “There aren’t many ways to reverse the damage, but you can change your behavior,” says says Kavita Mariwalla, M.D., director of skin cancer surgery at Continuum Cancer Center of New York. Stop going to tanning beds, for instance. Immediately.

Other ways to protect yourself: apply sunscreen daily, and reapply every two to three hours; visit a dermatologist for a full body skin check annually; and perform a self-check monthly. Look for unrelenting dry skin that feels gritty like sandpaper, pimples or sores that won’t go away, and check any moles using your ABCDEs: Asymmetry, an irregular Border, variance in Color, a Diameter larger than a pencil’s eraser, and Elevation. Notice any of these signs, any changes at all, bleeding, or itching, and you should see a doctor ASAP, Mariwalla says.

The good news is that basal cell and squamous cell cancers have high survival rates if found and treated early, according to the American Cancer Society. Also reassuring: there are ways to get the golden goddess glow without courting cancer (or death). The key, of course, is sunless tanner.

That said, few fast fixes come without a catch, sunless tanner included. Recent research suggests that the chemicals in some self-tanners might be questionable. But the potential risks associated with sunless tanner are nothing compared to the cancer box, and they’re unlikely to cause any real trouble if you use the lotions in moderation. “If you exfoliate well and apply self tanner, you shouldn’t have to reapply more than once every two weeks, and that should be safe,” says Mariwalla.

In the meantime, rest assured that these options, including those hand-picked by Women's Health associate beauty editor Jill Percia, will, at least, keep you safe from the harmful UV rays, indoors and out.

PERCIA'S PICKS Winning wipes:

http://smhttp.12578.nexcesscdn.net/805F04/Magento/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/275x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/s/o/somerville360-tanning-towelette.jpg.jpg Somerville 360° Tanning Towlettes, $48 for 8 at KateSomerville.com

Makeup mist http://sallyhansen.com/sites/sallyhansen.com/files/product/images/airbrush_legs_3703.jpg?1309884085 Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, $10.23 at Drugstore.com

MARIWALLA'S FAVORITES

A light-weight mousse: [[{"type":"media","fid":"804506","attributes":[]}]] St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, $40 at StTropezTan.com

A lotion with protective power, too: [[{"type":"media","fid":"804511","attributes":[]}]] L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion SPF15, $9.49 at LOrealParisUsa.com

PERENNIAL WOMEN'S HEALTH BEAUTY AWARD WINNER:

http://www.sephora.com/productimages/sku/s75663-main-hero.jpg Clarins Self Tanning Gel, $34 at ClarinsUSA.com



photo: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Thinkstock
More from WH:
The Step-by-Step Self-Tanning Guide
2012 Beauty Awards Shopping List
18 Self Checks Every Woman Should Do

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