Melanoma is no joke. It's the No. 1 cause of cancer among women in their twenties and has even skyrocketed by 72 percent in New York over the past 10 years, according to the American Cancer Society. New research also shows that half of adults under 30 have had a burn in the past year, which doubles their chances of contracting melanoma. Don't want to become a statistic? Try these tips from dermatologist Mona Gohara, M.D.
By Carly Cardellino
Seek Out Tan in a Can
Get a safe, sexy, sun-kissed glow with a sunless tanner. Exfoliate first, then apply one from head-to-toe for a natural-looking faux "tan."
New studies show that those who use sunless tanners are much less likely to use tanning booths or lay out in the sun.
Make a Difference in Your Hometown
Contact local politicians for support and sign petitions to restrict tanning bed use. As of January 2012, minors under the age of 18 have been banned from indoor tanning in California, and New York State is requiring in-person signed parental consent for would-be tanners between the ages of 14 and 18. So do your part and help raise public awareness-who knows how many lives you could save.
Related: Scary Truth About Tanning Salons
Find Your Inner Zen Zone
Research shows that tanning can be as addicting as hard-core drugs, making this a hard habit to kick. To de-stress, be fit, and look great, focus your energy on other endorphin-releasing exercises such as yoga, pilates, zumba, spinning, or even sex. In the long run, you will preserve the integrity of your skin, slow the aging process, and get the same natural high.
Related: The Doctor's Orders You Shouldn't Follow
Use all the money you would have normally spent on a tanning salon package to buy yourself something nice. Even better, book a vacation somewhere fun! (Just remember, if it's a tropical destination try and stick to the shade whenever possible and don't forget to apply SPF.)
Show Off Your Birthday Suit...
...to your doctor once a year. Get a skin check by a board-certified dermatologist yearly. Remember that skin cancer is curable if it's caught early. A good tip: Schedule the appointment on your birthday so you won't forget to pay your doc a visit.
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