Sara Picken-Brown, ‘THE FIGURE GENIE’ is a U.K based Nutrition & Fitness expert. A former classically trained professional ballerina her career has twisted and turned from dance to a professional Figure Athlete career spanning a decade. Her online nutrition programs, 1-on-1 bespoke Coaching and Rejuvenation Retreats have helped thousands of women love their bodies and live inspired healthy lives.

Sizzling is NOT Sexy

IMG_9127Since I arrived in the UK  I have been blown away by huge number of tanning salons here. They are like a virus, dotted along high streets and  on nearly every street corner.

Australia banned  Tanning Salon permits and eventually the salons themselves in 2015. For a country with the highest cases of melanoma cancers, this was a critical step in public health care and a prevention strategy for future generations. ‘Pale is In’ across many parts of Australia, tanning is now considered a rather trashy look as fashion moves toward a healthier complexion. The anti-ageing benefits of staying out of the harsh sun have also not been glossed over.

Despite the very different lifestyle lived in the UK (being outside for much of the year is almost impossible unless you are made of special forces material and the rain and cold are embraced). Brits love of tanning is something that needs address from a public health perspective. After all ‘dying for a tan’ is hardly smart.

Speaking of smart, there are some very real and very clear reasons that snubbing the tanning bed is the best way to go:

Dangers of Tanning in a Tanning Bed

  • The emissions from tanning beds chiefly consists of ultraviolet rays. There are two types of ultraviolet radiations known as Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA, a longer wave radiation, has been identified as a cause for a deeper penetrating radiation.
  • The biggest culprit is probably UVB, a short wave radiation, which has long been linked with sunburn effects. Moreover, it is the one which is responsible for malignant melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.
  • UV radiations from the bed can also affect our immune system adversely. It also causes premature aging of the skin, which leads to rather crumpled and gristly appearance. Recent studies have even suggested that people who used tanning beds are 2.5-times more prone to risks of basal cell carcinoma, while 1.5-times more vulnerable to the occurrence of squamous cell carcinoma.
  • People using the tanning-bed are more susceptible than those who had natural sun exposure previously.
  • People who choose to tan in salons using tanning beds are approaching increased risk of developing skin cancer. This is particularly true in case of periodical tanning which occurs at a continuous frequency over relatively long period. As the amount of damage to the epithelial cells of skin accumulates, it increases the risk of melanoma.
  • Skin aging and skin cancer are the delayed effects that usually come to surface after many years. So, the damage done by this ultra violet ray emissions is not immediately apparent, people in their teen ages are often unaware of the dangers of tanning. In US alone, around 1 million cases of new skin cancer cases have been reported last year.
  • Teens are at a greater risk, as they are still witnessing tremendous cellular growth in their body at that particular age. Due to the increased multiplication rate of skin cells at this time, they are more prone to the dangers.
  • It also poses a great risk of sunburn. Medically, our skin has been classified into five types out of which skin type I and II are more susceptible for skin burns due to the prolonged use of tanning beds.
  • Eyes of frequent users are more exposed to the threat of cataracts and corneal burns from prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays.

IMG_9240Now it has been a long time since I took to using a tanning product, in fact the last time was a ProFigure Championship in Fort Lauderdale, USA and the experience was a production line of white bodies parading into a booth one by one and emerging glistening and a dirty chocolate colour. The product smelled terrible and was a bit of a nightmare to keep from streaking. Perfect skin condition was one of the aspects athletes were graded on.

Based on a decade of competition tanning memories, and ruined clothes, the idea of  testing out Cocoa Brown tan didn’t fill me with a huge amount of joy. As tanning products go, if being pale is just not for you, then this should be one on your list to try. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The colour wasn’t terrible, no orange or strange brown streaks. It smelled remarkably good, almost edible actually. Best of all it dried instantly, no sticky residue and it didn’t stain my clothes. Made from natural ingredients and very easy to use. Depending on how dark you wish to go, this product gives you full control. Plus for those super glam nights out, you can use the body glitter lotion to really shimmer like the stars.

PHOTO: R Faraci (Australia)

Cocoa Brown Product

Review by Sara Picken-Brown for H& N Magazine (U.K)



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