We’re sure the last thing you need is another warning about how bad tanning beds are for your skin. But now there’s yet another reason to add to the list of why you should avoid them: your mental health.
It turns out that 45 percent of tanning bed users surveyed by Cancer Research UK said they were unhappy with their bodies. In contrast, only 36 percent of those who don’t use tanning beds said they were unhappy with their bodies.
The researchers also found that eight out of 10 tanning bed users who reported they were unhappy also said they felt pressured to change their appearance. Most of them blamed their peers, celebrities and the media. Researchers say that this pressure, in addition to the knowledge that they are damaging their skin, is what is causing their poor self-image.
“We live in a culture obsessed with images and we know that many hammock users continue to use them because they think they look better with a tan,” says Cancer Research UK health campaigns manager Caroline Cerny. “But they are actually making their skin look worse in the long run. The more unhappy they are with the skin they are in, the more they can use the loungers, it’s a vicious cycle.”