An Open Letter to Tanning Bed Users

Photo from

Dear Miss “I’m going to the beds,”

It’s that time of year again: the leaves are beginning to fall and the summer tans are starting to fade. With tanning bed locations popping up all around State College, it’s hard to resist the temptation to get a quick and easy glow.  Are you hungry? Here’s some food for thought: your dog wants some of your chocolate cake. You know they cannot have this, because chocolate makes dogs very sick. Just like giving your dog the chocolate cake, when you want to go get your tan on in a tanning bed, keep in mind that the sweet and enticing things in life can be harmful too. 

But, “It makes my skin look better”
Photo from

The summertime is great for a lot of reasons. No homework, stunning sunsets, the undeniable validity in getting ice cream after dinner and having the best skin. It’s a common belief that routinely laying out in the sun gets rid of acne because of the way it soaks up any excess oil. Tanning beds simulate that effect, but at what cost? The risk of getting any kind of skin cancer increases by 47% with each use, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. Tanning beds are only a temporary solution for acne, and it does permanent damage to the skin. Developing a skincare routine is the most reliable and safest option when it comes to improving skin quality.

Another reason tanning beds give skin a summery look are the freckles that they bring out. Freckle pens are a fun and secure way to achieve that same look, and it gives you even more power over how they look.

“Well I just feel better about myself when I’m tan”
Photo from

The best days are the ones that feel like everything is easy. Those pesky insecurities and intrusive thoughts are being kept at bay and self love is finally radiating from your soul. Sometimes the world feels perfect after a tanning session because of the newfound confidence it elicits. How could tanning beds be so harmful if they lift so many spirits? 

Tanning beds have this “happy effect” because the UV light “not only triggers skin browning, but also sparks the release of feel-good chemicals, known as endorphins,” according to a study conducted by Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Just like any other unnatural stimulant for endorphin releases, if the source of these endorphins is not continuously revisited, the body will go through withdrawal. As dramatic as it sounds, some people really are addicted to tanning. 

But there are better ways to feel good! Working out pumps up endorphins and releases stress, and there are plenty of opportunities to get active on campus while having fun too. Work out classes like F45 or Orange Theory are a great way to get some feel good chemicals and get in shape too. Another way to feel more confident is to be nice to yourself! Being tan won’t fill the void, but finding hobbies, learning how to spend time alone and spending less time on social media just might. 

“I feel like I don’t need to wear as much makeup after using a bed”
Photo from

After spending a day in the sun at the beach or the pool, there is nothing better than taking a nice shower, throwing on some mascara and getting ready to eat dinner. The afterglow from a day in the sun cannot be beat, but it can be replicated — and not by tanning beds.

Products like tanning drops or overnight tanning mists give you a long lasting tan, without the hassle of full on self tanning and without the dangers of UV rays. Some personal favorites are the Drunk Elephant tanning drops and the St. Tropez face mist. 

You are not a dog trying to eat chocolate cake, and VALLEY isn’t a dog owner. A potentially life threatening habit like using tanning beds should be something to think twice about. There are ways to achieve the benefits of a tanning bed without actually going to one.

With love,



1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.