Suntanning is the single worst thing you can do for your skin. It's actually the same as smoking for your skin. That's one way to think about it. Now the World Health Organization has accelerated UVA exposure from a possible carcinogen to a known carcinogen. What this means for you is that anybody who is exposed to ultraviolet radiation, UVA or UVB rays, for long enough will ultimately get skin cancer.
Beyond that, there is also wrinkles, brown spots broken blood vessels that can happen.
You are in your 20s now, which is a great place to be, because what you have done to your skin in terms of damage, a lot of it can be repaired. But a lot of it isn't going to show for another 10-20 years. So when you hit your 30s, 40s, 50s is when you are really going to start noticing the effects of the damage that's done now. It just takes time to show up.
So the single most important thing you can do for your skin is protect it from ultraviolet radiation, which means using a broad-spectrum sunscreen, everyday, all year around.
I see the worst burns from cloudy days, because you don't feel the heat so much, but you are still getting that ultraviolet radiation, which is damaging your skin.
Never, ever go to a tanning salon. That's mostly UVA rays, which is known to penetrate deeper into the skin, damage the collagen and elastic tissue that gives your skin resilience and bounce and elasticity, and that will cause, not only skin cancer, but also those signs of aging, which you can see in as early as your early 30s.
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