health

What your skin wants you to know before you step into the sun.

Australian summer. Golden bodies glistening on thick striped towels, speckled with sand, oily with coconuts and growing darker by the minute.

The lust for that perfect tan has for decades sent our nation onto the beaches and under the sun.

“Oh but I don’t tan my face,” we say.

“Oh but I just one to be one shade darker,” we say.

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One shade darker is just one shade closer to damaged skin.

Contrary to popular belief, a tan is not a sign of good health but is actually evidence that you’ve been exposed to so much UV radiation you’ve damaged your skin.

Skin turns darker as it produces more melanin to protect you from the danger of further exposure.

More tan = More damage.

Healthy glow? I don't think so. (Source: iStock.)

Repeatedly tanning doesn't just raise your risk of skin cancer but it also causes a loss of elasticity in the skin (wrinkles), discolouration, sagging and freckles.

The Cancer Council tells us that two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they hit 70. Most skin cancers are caused by the simple act of being exposed to the sun.

If you're still not sure, think about it like how dermatologist Jerry Brewer explained it in his interview with the New York Times. 

“Deciding how much sun you want to get is like asking how much cyanide you want in your breakfast cereal. There is no amount of tan that is healthy," he said.

We'll see you in the aisle for fake tan, sun block and better health.

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