How can something that makes you look and feel so so bad for you?

There is no such thing as a "safe tan"

* Facts taken from the Skin Cancer foundation:
* Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
* More than 90% of all skin cancers are caused by the sun.
* The risk for skin cancer doubles after 5 or more sun burns.
* Approximately 59,940 melanomas will be diagnosed this year alone, over 8,110 will result in death.

Despite these alarming hard core facts, sun tanning is on the rise among teenagers and older 30's to 50 year olds alike. The quest for a healthy glow and a bronzed body has become a national past time. Whether it's from the sun or a tanning bed, these sun worshipers are slathering on the expensive sun tan oil with blatant disregard to the long term damaging effects of UVA and UVB Rays. Unbelievable as it may be, these self proclaimed sun lovers admit to using little to no sun protection at all.

Baking your skin in the sun or tanning bed for an extended period of time is an extremely dangerous and often fatal idea. The undisputed facts show that over exposure to the sun can have you ultimately dieing for a tan.

How Do We Damage Our Skin?

The first sign of skin damage is sunburn. Sunburns, no matter how mild you think they may be result in DNA damage. This most certainly paves the way to skin cancer, also known as melanoma.

Did you know that getting a tan is your body's way of defending itself from the harmful rays of the sun?

Tanning zaps your skin's youthful appearance, the damage builds up over time. What most of us don't realize is that while your busy building that perfect tan, you skin is slowly and silently building a case for skin cancer. The Ultra Violet Radiation is responsible for pre-mature skin damage that is called Photo Aging.

Photo Aging - Do You Look Older Than You Really Are?

Over the years we all age naturally. People that tan age at an accelerated rate due to over exposure to UV Light. Once this process is set in motion, it is almost impossible to reverse.

Yes, there are expensive procedures available, but your skin will never be able to regenerate at the pace the sun is working to make you look older. No amount of money in the world can give you back your skin's collagen, natural elasticity and youthful glow.

Signs of Photo Aging

* Deep wrinkle patterns & fine lines
* Dried, parched look and feel to skin
* Freckles and liver spots, most prevalent on your face, chest, hands and back area
* Dilation of small blood vessels under the skin
* Destruction of elasticity
* Dry, rough patches
* Sallow complexion
* Mottled, spotted complexion
* Thinner, more delicate looking translucent skin

Smart Protection From The Sun

The warm glow of the sun beckons to everyone. Summer months and warm winter vacation spots have us all heading for the boats and bathing suits. Many of us enjoy the great outdoors on golf courses, pools and playgrounds. It is inevitable that the searing sun will be there to do its damage. Most people will not make the commitment to stay out of the sun, and you don't really have to. Just learn to be sun smart and protect yourself from the harmful rays.

Here Are Some Smart Prevention Tips

* Stay away from all UV Tanning Beds. (no matter what they claim, they are not safe)
* Stay out of the sun between the hours of 10am - 4pm (these are the dangerous hours, seek the shade if possible.)
* Limit exposure time while in the water. UV Rays are magnified by the water.
* Wear proper sun gear - A good sun hat with a broad brim or sports cap. Wear UV protected sunglasses. Always wear a shirt when in the sun for long periods of time.
* Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin areas. Make sure it has an SPF of 15 or higher. Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before exposure to the sun, as well as reapply every 2 hours.
* Keep all babies under the age of 6 months out of the sun.
* Do not allow small children to become sunburned. Apply sunscreen to all children over the age of 6 months.
* Pack an umbrella when heading to the beach or park.
* Have a skin exam by your physician annually.

Certain skin types may be at greater risk to develop skin cancer. Sun damage occurs in everyone. Learn the early warning signs of melanoma. Early detection is your best defense at surviving skin cancer. Limiting your sun exposure and being sun smart could save your life.

Author's Bio: 

Dori Schwaiger is an expert author on health & wellness, and the owner of Read other informative health articles and reviews on her blog Laurens Corner. To keep safe under the sun check out Tophealthspot for your Sun block products, may we recommend some of the best product lines below:

- Clarins
- L'Occitane