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Turns Out, Tanning Really is Addictive

When it comes to soaking up the sun, I realize that I am at one end of the spectrum. If I’m on the beach, I am definitely under an umbrella and most likely wearing a hat and a long sleeve tee. But I have a close girlfriend who is my polar opposite, despite the fact that years ago, we were almost equally as pale. But warm weather vacations, summers at the beach, and tanning oil have made her fair skin incredibly dark. While I’ve tried talking to her and stressing the very real threat of skin cancer, I don’t seem to get anywhere.

New research conducted by UT Southwestern Medical Center and published in Science Daily might explain why my heart-to-hearts with this dear friend are pointless: she could be addicted. The study was conducted by measuring the brain activity and blood flow to the brain of participants who were using tanning beds. The results were similar to those of addicts, meaning that all-too-frequent tanners might feel a physical need to continue the harmful behavior. Does this mean my friend might need a full-blown tanning intervention? Maybe, and I might be ready to go there one day. For now, I am just thinking of swapping out her SPF 5 for some SPF 75. 


My daily regimen these days includes my new favorite Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+.