Even though it’s well known that over exposure to the sun is harmful to us, it’s still hard not to yearn for that golden brown sun-kissed look. Back in 1906, a German doctor created the first UV Lamps exclusively for his patients with bone diseases to try to give them Vitamin D so they were able to more easily absorb calcium. A side effect was that it also gave his patients a little tan. The lamps became more popular in the 1920’s when they first starting to be used specifically for tanning, and started to become commercially available in the 1970s. Through the years, they have become more popular and there have been improvements and government regulations for tanning beds, but as inviting as they seem, they are not healthy alternatives.
According to studies by the Melanoma Research Foundation, Skin Care Foundation and The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), to name a few, the dangers of over exposure to UV rays cause premature aging, skin cell damage and skin cancer. It is especially dangerous for people who start tanning under the age of 35, who will increase their chances of developing melanoma (skin cancer) by a startling 75%.
Tanning is about the worst thing you can do for your skin!
The tanning community says that our body needs Vitamin D, which we naturally receive from exposure to the sun’s UVB radiation. However, tanning bulbs emit mostly UVA radiation, which does not produce Vitamin D. In fact, those fluorescent bulbs can be 3x more intense than the UVA found in natural sunlight! 
If you suffer from or fear Vitamin D deficiency, the very best way to supplement it is through a healthy diet that includes foods like rich in Vitamin D, and over-the-counter supplements are easy to find (check with your doctor for what dose you should take!).
Listen, we all want to look and feel great, but there are healthier alternatives to tanning beds. They may seem like a true convenience to get that glow that you’re seeking, but the risks far outweigh the reward.
Do your own research and speak with your physician for more information.