Prom season is upon us — time to grab your fancy duds and do some dancing. For some reason, many teens see this as a time to hit the tanning bed so that can party it up with golden skin. But I've got three solid reasons why you should skip the tanning bed this year.  


1. It makes you look phony. Unless you live in Florida or Southern California, there is no way you came across that golden glow naturally. Don't be a phony. Love the skin you're in.


2. It will give you wrinkles. I know, I know. Who can be bothered thinking about wrinkles when you're tender and taut and in your teens? But think about this: prom is just one night of your life, but spending weeks in the tanning bed to prepare for it could set you up for decades of premature wrinkles. It. Is. Not. Worth. It.


3. It could kill you. OK, this one is a biggie. And I know it's a little hard to wrap your mind around when you are just thinking about the awesome time you will have at prom, but hear me out. I've got the numbers to back me up. A recent Mayo Clinic study found that cases of melanoma in young women have spiked in recent years. The study found that between 1970 and 2009, the rate of melanoma among women increased eightfold and quadrupled among men. Still other studies have found that people who use indoor tanning beds are 74 percent more likely to get melanoma than non-tanners.  


Melanoma is the most deadly kind and one of the most common cancers in young people.  


Again: It. Is. Not. Worth. It.


Last year, California became the first state to ban indoor tanning for kids under aged 18. Several other states, including Utah, Michigan, Arizona, New Jersey, New York, Illinois and Connecticut are considering their own laws. The authors of the recent Mayo Clinic study are calling for a national ban on tanning bed use by anyone younger than 18.  


You don't need a law to tell you tanning beds are a waste of time, right?


Now go have fun at prom. And enjoy your healthy, glowing, beautiful pale skin!

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