When my gay friend dragged me to a tanning salon a while ago, I was a little hesitant. I mean come on, EVERYONE knows about the risk of tanning but since I have never done it and I was craving for some color minus the hassle of using a self-tanner, I figured one tanning session would not kill me and I went along with it.
We went to Ultimate Exposure, one of Chicago’s most popular tanning salons. They had a lot of great deals and I ended up paying $40 for 110 points which was good for 3 tanning sessions. I also got a pair of reusable goggles for about $3.
The staff there were very friendly and helpful. They gave me a full tour, explained everything very clearly and suggested I start with a 15 minute session on the Monster Bronzer, one of their most popular beds.
With 48 lamps and 6 face tanners, the Monster Bronzer is great for beginners and those who need to build a base tan. It has virtually no UVB rays and it can be used up to 3-4 sessions per week. It also has 3 adjustable levels for facial tanning and a built-in air-conditioning to help cool you off.
I simply stripped down to my birthday suit, slathered on tons of tanning lotion (you do need this stuff to help develop color fast and protect your skin), threw on the goggles, whipped out my iPod, hopped onto the bed and tanned away. After a few Kylie Minogue songs from her latest X album which by the way, is really good stuff, I walked out feeling refreshed like I had just gone on a vacation. I developed a bit of color within a few hours with no burning and it lasted for quite a good few days before I went back to my pale self (sad!)
So what was the verdict? Well it was definitely a different and fun experience and it felt more than nice to bask under the hot artificial lights. Will I do it again? Probably not. Despite the flyers and posters plastered all over the salon raving about the benefits of tanning, aka a “natural” supply of vitamin D, the pictures you see of people suffering from melanoma and cataracts that you can find online are just a little too creepy. I simply think that the risks of tanning – which include skin cancer, premature aging, sunburn, eye damage, immune system suppression etc – outweighs the results/benefits you get from it. I will definitely save my remaining credit for spray tanning instead.
For more information on the risks of tanning, check out FDA
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