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Tanning before a Tropical Vacation? Not sure what to do!!

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Old 02-10-2010, 02:50 PM   #1
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Default Tanning before a Tropical Vacation? Not sure what to do!!

Hi all,
i know this is not relevant to weight loss in any aspect (except for this is one of the reasons why I am losing weight), but I am going to Isla Mujeres, Mexico in mid March for spring break. I cannot wait! However, I am probably the pastiest (is that a word) person I have ever met in my life. Basically my friends call me Casper. Creative, I know. Not. haha. Anyways, i have strawberry blonde hair and I am ghostly white. My friends suggested that I go tanning a few times before to get a base tan so I do not get super burnt when I go to Mexico. I have a history of getting really burnt, badly. I purchased a small package at Darque Tan to go every other day for this next month to get some color before I go. However, my question is this: I am concerned about skin cancer since I have a family history of it and I am aware of how bad tanning beds are for you. I am just wondering if it will be alright to tan a few times before my trip, tanning cannot cause cancer in a month can it? I have never been tanning before because I have known of the risks, but I cannot imagine myself getting melanoma or carcinoma from just a month, right? Or should I just cancel my package? I appreciate all advice. Thank you.
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:54 PM   #2
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basically you're trading one risk for another: tanning beds increase your risk of cancer, burning increases your risk of cancer. I personally have tried the whole "base tan" thing before a tropical vacation many times. And I just have trouble getting a base tan in a few trips to the tanning bed due to my "burn or nothing" skin type. In order to not burn in the bed, I have to stay in there so shortly that the tan is barely noticable. And then I still burn upon reaching my tropical destination. My advice, invest in some crazy high spf sunblock.
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Old 02-10-2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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I'm pale too... so I can relate. I tried doing this before as well, but really it isn't likely to give you much color. Also, your risk of skin cancer gets higher with every burn you get... and tanning is inevitable to burn you. I second the awesome sunblock - I use Coppertone Sport SPF50, it's not greasy (except on your hands, so put it on where you can wash them) and it stays on as long as you're out. While wearing it, I've NEVER burned. I'm proud of my white-ness now, lol - I will wear my shorts this summer and blind everyone You can always think too... anyone can tan to get darker color, but not everyone can be as white as us chicks!
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Old 02-10-2010, 03:13 PM   #4
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Have you considered a spray-tan? I wonder if you did a spray-on kind of thing (professionally done) if then you could use high SPF sun block over it? Might be something to ask the tanning salon, since most do spray tanning as well.

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Old 02-10-2010, 03:44 PM   #5
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I have a tendency to get a sun poisoning rash when exposed to non-Ohio sun. It's a major bummer. Last year I did the tanning bed thing to get a base tan thinking it would keep it away. Nope, still got it - and probably worse because I didn't wear as much sunblock. This year I swear crow's feet and larger pores popped out of nowhere! It's not worth it! Like above, go, have a great time, and bring LOTS of sunblock and REAPPLY.

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Old 02-10-2010, 04:04 PM   #6
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I would avoid the tanning bed.
The Jergens self tanner lotions work pretty well within a week and help me feel less pasty.

Once on vaction use LOTS of sunscreen on your trip and find shade when and where possible.

Have a great time.
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Old 02-10-2010, 04:12 PM   #7
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With pale skin and strawberry blond hair, you probably lack the melanin to form a tan. Are you eyes very light as well? I am guessing they are an icey blue.
Please please do not be pressured by your friends into putting your health in danger. Because you know what's "less attractive" than pale skin? Biopsy scars. I should know, I have one. It was very painful and it hurt in cold temperatures for a very long time.

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Old 02-10-2010, 04:53 PM   #8
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I agree with the others... avoid the tanning bed. They do increase your chances of skin cancer, just like exposure to the sun does.

I know how you feel about being so pale. I get sunburned very easily, and it doesn't fade to tan. It just goes right back to pale. When I see people with a dark tan, I don't find it attractive. All I can think about is the damage they've done to their skin and how they're likely going to really pay for it later on in life (either with skin cancer or nasty leathery skin or bad age spots).

In the summer I have used the gradual tanning lotion/moisturizer (either Jergen's, or another brand, I can't remember) to give me a little bit of colour, it works well. Otherwise, I embrace my paleness

So I say embrace your paleness! Remember that once upon a time a woman with pale skin was considered the most beautiful Invest in a high SPF sunscreen and apply it liberally and religiously. Find a gorgeous, stylish, large brimmed hat to further protect your face. Have an awesome time on vacation!
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:05 PM   #9
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Stay away from the tanning bed! Tanning AND burning are BOTH the result of UV damage to the skin. And BOTH can increase skin cancer risk.

If you must get some color before you go on your trip, I'd look for a high quality spray tan salon and get that done the week before you go. It will look more natural than any self tanning product you would use at home.

Apply high SPF sunscreen everywhere several times a day, and you will not get burned.

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Old 02-12-2010, 01:11 AM   #10
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I agree with the spray tanning theory! about a week before you leave get a spray tan professionally done (like where they spray you not a machine) it can be a little pricey ( I Paid 50) but its worth it! I hadn't seen my hubby in like 3 months and I wanted to be tan quick so I used the spray tan and it looked great
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:03 AM   #11
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Well, I'll go against the majority here. Tanning beds aren't the best thing in the world, but if you're not baking yourself brown and going for years on end, I really think a few trips for a light bit of color are okay. I like tanning on occasion (spring!), but I do it lightly. You still need your very high SPF when your out and about and not controlling the rays you're getting though A 'base tan' isn't going to help you at all.
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:13 PM   #12
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THank you!! You all posted very legitimate reasons why to not go tanning and some why to go tanning. I still haven't decided what I want to do yet. I better decide soon since I leave for Mexico in 30 days. I think I am leaning more towards not going tanning and just embracing my paleness and using a VERY high SPF. I am very worried about the idea of using a bronzer or self tan because I have seen pictures of people using self tan and it's scary, I don't want to end up looking like Snooki from Jersey Shore. haha Thank you for your help!
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:14 PM   #13
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Also, so to those who have done the spray tan, they do work well? And they don't leave you looking orange? I have considered this option but fear that it's just going to leave me looking really orange and fake since I am so pale.
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:32 PM   #14
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A professional spray tan should be fine as long as you go for the lightest setting. If you don't have unrealistic expectations for your tan, you won't run the risk of becoming orange from using tanner that's too dark for you.

I hope you enjoy your vacation!
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:30 PM   #15
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maybe i will try that. Does anybody know if Darque Tan does quality spray tan or should I look somewhere else?
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