Ironically for the beauty pageant contestants who continue to damage their skin by tanning for beauty's sake, UV tanning is not a long-term beauty strategy. It ultimately increases the symptoms of skin aging, causing wrinkles, roughness, and brown spots. Suntanning and tanning beds also increase the risk of eye diseases, immune system problems, and skin cancers, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
If that is not enough, there's a new reason to avoid UV tanning: it's just not in fashion anymore. "I can't remember the last time I saw a tanned model in my magazine or on the runway," says Jane Larkworthy, Beauty Director of W magazine. And as Lois Johnson, former Beauty Editor of More, puts it, "Tanning as a life priority is over."
Trend-setting magazine editors aren't the only style-savvy ones: stars like Nicole Kidman and Amy Adams are flaunting their naturally luminous - and untanned - skin. These women know that up to 90 percent of the visible skin changes attributed to aging are caused by the sun. People who tan may begin to see the results of their sun-worship as early as in their 20s, when skin can begin to wrinkle, sag, and discolor. Take a tip from the likes of shade-loving Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart: stop tanning, and go with your own glow.
From the Sun & Skin News, vol. 26, No. 3, Fall 2009.