Tan Tax In, Bo-tax Out


Just before Christmas, the US Senate amended the healthcare reform bill (H.R. 3590) by dropping the proposed 5% tax on elective plastic-surgery procedures like Botox and replacing it with a 10% tax on indoor tanning. The tax, aka Tan Tax, will be effective July 1, 2010 and will only apply to tanning beds that deliver UV radiation, not spray tans.

“This proposed tax is a master stroke, akin to the sin tax on cigarettes; both tanning and smoking are activities scientifically proven to cause harm to the human body,” said Bruce E. Katz, MD, educational spokesperson for The Skin Cancer Foundation. “The tax will hopefully serve a double purpose, not only raising billions for health care, but giving people one more excellent reason to protect their health by staying away from tanning salons.”

I have never been a fan of tanning beds so I’m indifferent to the amendment. But for those who do, will this really stop you? Share your thoughts!

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE, Glamour.com, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is a regular contributor to Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.


  1. Wow, fascinating. I’ve never gone tanning but I think this is a great idea since it’s so harmful to the body. I’m all for it. ^^

  2. Um… Even though I’m not a tanning bed user as well, I just find the US government is really desperate for money… I don’t really like the idea of slapping taxes on random things though… I just fear it’s the beginning of many more to come(and there’re already a lot!)

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