"One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescene more than doubles a person's chance at developing melanoma later in life. A person's risk for melanoma also doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns at any age."
Yikes. Five or more sunburns? This statistic is particularly alarming for me, given that I remember having two bad sunburns last year alone. I also looked at their website's Skin Type Quiz to determine what my skin type and corresponding risk of developing skin cancer is. I was a Type II out of 6 possible types. Type I would be the lightest skinned people, with light hair and eyes and many freckles. Type VI would be a very dark-skinned African American person. I would assume most people are around a Type III.
So--where does this leave those of us who are still interested in getting a decent tan for summer? Luckily I've never been one to go to tanning beds--I categorize those with activities such as smoking and eating very unhealthily--but still, laying out in the sun for long periods at a time isn't much better. I definitely won't be giving up spending time at the beach or pool, BUT I've decided that I'll only lay out for very short periods of time (not even close to getting a sunburn) AND I'll wear sunscreen. Period. There's no reason to choose something unhealthy, when a much healthier and safer alternative is available.
Overall, I guess this post is supposed to sum up one idea: You're only "young" for a very short time, relatively. I've read that women hit their beauty peak at age 31, so from that point on it's only downhill. You spend most of your life as an adult, and going through the aging process. Tanned skin may be alright for the time when you're young, but how will it look for the majority of your life when you're not young? Are you willing to sacrifice the quality of your skin for the greater part of your life (when you're old) just for brown skin now? I don't mean to be too preachy, but it just hit me recently how much of a real concern this is and I really feel it's something for everyone to think about!
How do you feel about tanning vs. protecting your skin for the future? Do you use any tanning products? Products to protect your skin from damage and aging?