My Tanning Bed Experience- Please read if you tan in one: GetGlammedUp - Everyday Beauty, Simplified

My Tanning Bed Experience- Please read if you tan in one

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I really wanted to share my tanning experience with you all because I’m sure a lot of you struggle with not wanting to be pale or whether to use the tanning bed or not.
            I always hated looking pale. I felt like it just made my clothing look bad and made me not want to show skin. I tried Jergens Natural Glow Body back when it first came out and I didn’t like it. It left me patchy and orangey I am sure I was just not applying it right and did not even know what exfoliating meant. I also tried a spray tan. I hated that too because someone did it who was practicing on how to do it and left me with a horrible unnatural stain. I just wanted a natural tan and I was going to do whatever it took to get one.
In middle school, I started lying outside to get a tan everyday almost. I got a little dark, but it was just too much of a hassle and took forever to see results. I wanted something quicker.
I started using the tanning bed in 8th grade. I did it about 15 minutes every other day. This was around the time that it was really getting popular to tan in a bed, and people never really told me it was bad. I had heard some things, but I didn’t really pay attention. I continued tanning throughout the next couple years. At some points, I was tanning for 20 minutes every day or every other day. I was pretty dark. I was paying between $100-$150 for only 6 months of tanning. Way too much!
I was happy with my skin, but I was getting a lot of new freckles, which I hate. I kind of ignored then and none of them really looked harmful. I layed off on how often I was tanning about a year or two ago. It was becoming an inconvenience for me to go as often and I really just didn’t want to make the time for it. I started doing the stand up bed because it was more powerful and you can use it for 9 minutes and still get the same results. I cut my frequency down to about once a week for a while.
I started to notice one of my freckles was getting really dark, almost black. Before, I never even knew it was there it was so unnoticeable. I just kept an eye on it but continued to tan. It started to get a little brown around the outside, but was still a round circle, so I assumed it was okay. I started tanning less and less, because it was such an inconvenience. I was only going about once or twice a month because I was also worried about the mole. I was even applying sunscreen to it when I did tan and it kept changing. I knew I needed to get it checked, but I kept thinking it was probably okay.
I got it checked out anyways, and the dermatologist said they needed to take it off for testing that it did not look good. They were worried because it had changed so rapidly in 6 months. I was terrified to get it removed because I’m a huge wimp when it comes to pain. But it hardly even hurt. It was just a huge pain afterwards to take care of the stitches. About a week and a half later, I got the stitches out, and the results were in.
The doctor was not even sure on how to describe it to me. It is kind of confusing but basically, the mole had not turned to cancer, but it was on the severe side of a regular mole. To really tell, they would have to remove more on the lower layers of skin to see if there is more. But to do that, it would lead to more surgery and more scarring. My doctor said that most of the time, they do not find anything when they do that. So they left it up to me. We decided to just wait for it to heal and keep an eye on it. If more starts to come up, then it could be cancer. The only problem with waiting too long is it may have spread too much, or be hard to get rid of.
A lot of girls think that it will never happen to them. I used to think it was possible, but if I did get a bad mole I could just get it removed and be done. But the scary thing is, it might still be there. Also, you don’t know if it will show up later in life. I was hardly even tanning around the time it showed up. But it came up from the previous years where I was tanning a lot. People also tend to think it is just genetic, which it doesn’t always have to be. Or they think that since they don’t have fair skin, they don’t have a chance. I don’t have fair skin at all, and I still got a bad mole. Even though I was not diagnosed, I still have to keep watching it. It is not something that any of you want to go through and it is not worth it to be tan. 

EDIT: It came back a few weeks later and I had to have it removed again! It was more painful and now I have a scar over an inch long. Not cute.
So! I have decided to try at home self-tanning! I never did it before because I thought I would look orange. But I found an awesome product that doesn’t leave me orange and is easy to use. I will be doing a part 2 post on a review of it!

Do any of you use a tanning bed? What has been your experience?


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  1. awww Gena! Thanks so much for sharing your tanning experience. I really like how you shared it with us. I don't use tanning beds, but I sometimes go for spray tans- about once or twice in a month. I hope you don;t go to any tanning beds anymore. Take care of yourself okay?

    XO, Kim


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