We Are Sunshine

A Tan for All Ages

Monday, March 17th, 2008

In the past few years the dermatology industry’s lobbyists have argued that teenagers should be totally prohibited from tanning in salons despite having no solid evidence that tanning in a non-burning fashion results in any significant risk. In fact, Smart Tan believes such prohibitions would likely do more harm than good.


  • Studies have shown that teens who tan in salons are less likely to sunburn outdoors compared to non-tanners.
  • 83 percent of teenagers who tan indoors prior to taking sunny vacations report that their indoor tan, combined with the proper use of sunscreen, helped them to prevent sunburn.
  • Further, 72 percent of teenagers who currently tan indoors say they would simply tan more aggressively outdoors or purchase home tanning units – both of which are more likely to produce sunburns – if they were unable to utilize indoor tanning salons. If teenagers are unable to tan in salons, sunburn incidence actually will increase, and it is likely that total UV exposure in this age group will increase. This would be hurting people, not helping them.
  • There is no data to suggest that tanning is more dangerous for any specific age group. Photobiology suggests that burning (not tanning) at an early age could increase risk later in life. As we just discussed, indoor tanners sunburn less than non-tanners, including teen-agers who tan outdoors.
  • Indoor tanning facilities today are at the forefront in teaching teenagers outdoor sunburn prevention, including the proper use of sunscreens to prevent sunburn outdoors. If teenagers are denied access to indoor tanning, sunburn incidence will increase.
  • The professional indoor tanning community supports existing laws requiring parental consent for minors who wish to tan in salons, and would support constructive efforts to bolster enforcement of this standard.

For more information visit Smart Tan’s consumer web site,