5 Reasons Why I Quit Tanning in Indoor Beds | Inspiration Indulgence

So, I recently just made a decision that may be easy for some, but was hard for me. I decided to not purchase a tanning package this spring. (To my mom reading this- I know you will be happy to hear this!!)

I’ll admit it I sort of used to be a tanning addict. Since my senior year of high school, I bought a one-month unlimited package every spring. During college, I started buying a package each spring AND winter. I tried to go as much as I could to get my money’s worth; usually every other day or sometimes even a few days in a row.

It soon became an addiction. I got a high off of getting dark and tried to get the darkest I possibly could. I thrived off of people telling me, “You’re so tan!” I tanned to look good in the gym, I tanned before I went on vacations, and I tanned just to feel good about myself in general. It gave me an amazing sense of self-confidence. I felt beautiful when I was tan.

Well, this spring, I decided enough is enough. I decided NOT to buy a package this spring and break the addiction. Even though I am pale and going on a vacation soon, I am going to hold strong. Here’s why:

1.) The threat to my health

Although I am not a fair-skinned person, I don’t want to risk ever getting skin cancer. I try SO hard to take good care of myself by eating nutritious and working out, and I spend so much money on beauty products. So why would I pay to put cancerous UV rays on my skin?! The logic just doesn’t even make sense!! As a society, we work SO hard to be the healthiest versions of ourselves, yet we spend approximately $5 billion on indoor tanning.

I’m sure you are well aware of the dangers by now, but let me inform you with some cold hard facts. According to the University of Minnesota, people who tan indoors have a 74% greater risk of getting melanoma skin cancer than those who do not tan. In addition, there is a 75% greater risk of melanoma when tanning beds are used before the age of 35. What fact scares me the most is that in young women ages 18-39, the increase of melanoma increased eight-fold from 1970-2009, while it increased four-fold for men. If the threat of cancer doesn’t scare you, tanning indoors also causes premature aging to the skin, immune suppression, eye damage, and sometimes even an allergic reaction.

When I’m 35 and have young children, I fear that I will find out that I have skin cancer. How selfish would that be if my children lost their mother because of her foolish obsession to look tan in her twenties? Just not worth it for me anymore.

2.) I don’t need to be tan to be sexy

Seriously, I don’t. If I want to feel sexy, I’ll curl my hair, put on a new dress, and wear some heels out. My boyfriend is still going to love me the same no matter what my skin shade is. I’m still going to have awesome friends who care about me. I have self-confidence and feel good about myself and my image. It may have taken me awhile to figure this out, but I’m glad that I finally did at this point.

3.) It gets expensive

Paying $50 for a month just to get tan is no longer worth it to me. Maybe when I was 19 and spent my money foolishly. But now, I have bills to pay and have to budget my money wisely. I would rather spend my leisure money on fun things such as shopping for clothes or traveling.

4.) It’s time consuming

Tanning is so time consuming! I figured out than on average, it took up an hour of my day with the commute to the salon, undressing and putting on lotion, and the 20 minutes of tanning itself. When you look at it this way, if I tan five times a week, that is five hours that I could have put towards doing something else more productive.

5.) I’m sick of conforming to what society wants me to be

I personally don’t understand why my fellow millennials (and younger woman in general) are so obsessed with tanning. Who made up this rule anyways that tan is sexy?! I think it looks absolutely ridiculous when I go to the gym in January and see women who look orange. Keep in mind, I live in Wisconsin, where we basically have winter for a good 6 months….you’re not fooling anyone, girlfriend! Just like why American society tells us women to shave our legs, I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

Overall, tanning is no longer worth it to me. Even though I’ll admit it’s not easy for me to forego it this spring, I am committed to living a healthier life, as well as saving money and time. I hope I can inspire you to do the same. Pale is pretty!



  • Pale is pretty! Great read girl. I’ve never used a tanning bed — but I am definitely guilty of baking in the sun just to fit in with the rest of society. Time to redefine what beautiful means.

    • Thanks for reading, Robin! Yes..I’ll admit I hate being “pale” but I just need to focus on taking better care of my skin!! I don’t want wrinkles in 30 years from all of that tanning. Agreed, I’m trying to redefine beauty!!

  • Rachel G

    I’ve never gone tanning–I didn’t actually know that tanning was still a thing until I went to beauty school and all my classmates were constantly tanning. I embrace my paleness and slather on the sunscreen! I’d rather not have wrinkles when I’m older. 😉 In beauty school we learn that nearly 70% of visible signs of aging skin is caused by sun damage–why would my fellow cosmetologists, especially, purposely age their skin? Apparently in some areas there’s a lot of pressure to be tan, but I never felt it.

    • Wow that’s crazy. Yeah, at least where I live, it seems that everyone goes tanning. I remember back when I was in high school my softball team would literally go as a group after practice. Just crazy!! I think now people are becoming more aware of the long term effects so they aren’t going as much..but still..I want to try and get in through people’s brains that you HAVE to be tan to be sexy!

  • I’ve always gotten compliments on having super white skin! I think it’s pretty to be natural :) Tanning used to be a addiction for me as well, but I haven’t been for years and feel great.Good for you to choose a healthier way of living, tan in the sun during summer if you need to catch some rays!

    • Agreed! I think pale skin just looks healthier. I think it will get easier for me the more I don’t go. Thanks for reading, Bethany!

  • Good for you! I tanned a lot in high school and then quit when I started noticing what it was doing to my skin. I am very fair and I burn easily. It is hard at first, especially when people make comments about how pale you are, but now I love it. I don’t mind get a little sun (naturally) during the summer but I don’t try to get a tan anymore. You’ll adjust and you’ll look gorgeous!

    • I’m glad you agree! Thanks so much for reading! Pale pretties unite lol

  • Good for you!! I haven’t been in a tanning bed since I was 18. I just don’t care anymore how tan I am… When your older you will thank yourself and so will your skin!

    • Exactly. I think it’s just a lesson you learn as you get older and mature. Thanks for reading! :)

  • I’m soooo proud of you for making this decision! I tanned a few times in highschool, but called it quits after a few sessions. I think you’ll really be happy with your choice!

    • Agreed. It can be addicting! I’m glad you were able to stop. Thanks for reading! :)

  • These points are so true! Obviously it can look nice to have a tan when wearing certain clothing for an event ie a dress for a party. Glad you realise you don’t need to tan, you’ll still look gorgeous! x

    Jasmine || blogsallbeautyy.blogspot.co.uk

    • Aw, thank you so much, Jasmine! :) xo

  • I think this is great! I live in Wisconsin too, so I know the long winters can lead to some seriously pale skin. Just a few years ago I decided too that I was going to be happy with my pale skin and flaunt it, instead of trying to change it! You’re saving yourself some potentially serious health problems later down the road.

    • Hey Erin! YAY!! It’s so great to meet a fellow Wisconsin blogger! Where do you live? I’m up in Oconto Falls, half an hour north of Green Bay! I’m glad you agree. Love your attitude! xo

  • I absolutely love every reason, especially the last! 😀 I stopped tanning my senior year of college, because I couldn’t afford it and I didn’t have the time (college kid probs haha). I have had spare moments of missing my dark tan, but I have grown to love my pale skin and I think it is a true testament to what MY beauty is supposed to be.

    • Lol SERIOUSLY, it is so expensive and time consuming!! Just a huge big fat waste! I’m glad you can relate and we are on the same page! Exactly, you go girl!!

  • I never really got into tanning, but I have done it in the past. Midwest winters are rough and it felt good to feel some “sun” on my body, but the risks just aren’t worth it! I limit my exposure, but I could be better about applying sunscreen on a daily basis. Good for you for coming to this decision!

    • Thanks so much for reading! Are you from the midwest also?

  • Yay for you! I fully support your decision and every reason that brought you to make it! Good for you :)

    • Thanks so much for your kind words. I feel like it won’t be as bad anymore now that it seems like everyone thinks I’m making a good choice! lol

  • I am always pale. Always. I try to tell to myself that is classy and elegant. Isn’t it?? :)

  • Oh how I envy you. I don’t think I am ready to give up tanning just yet. I tanned my first 2 years in college all the time and then when I realized I was never going to the gym just the tanning bed I cancelled it all. Well then last year I decided to start tanning again after 2 years of not..so I am still tanning. But I usually only go about 2 times a week – just enough to have a little color.

    • Ahhh now you’re making me miss it!! lol. I just wish it was summer so I could go outside and get some vitamin D!! This cold winter isn’t cutting it.

  • good for you!!! tanning really is expensive!

  • pdbjay

    Good decision!!! Your skin and future will thank you!!!

    • I’m hoping so :) Thanks for reading!

  • Great post! Yes, yes, yes! I love the way tanning makes me feel! But I DO NOT want to get cancer, plus all the other reasons you listed. And because of that I haven’t tanned in two years. The last time I did was before my wedding day. Now the only tanning I get is when going to the beach, and I always wear sunscreen! I’m glad you posted this, and I’m glad you are stopping! YAY FOR PALE!

    • Thanks so much for reading! I’m glad I’m not the only one. It actually isn’t as hard as I thought it would be to not tan. Since I was 17, I’ve gone tanning ever spring before summer. I don’t even think I look bad pale! Good for you. Thanks for commenting :)

  • thebeautysection15

    Great post! I love getting tan too, I don’t ever really use a tanning bed but I can tan pretty quickly just being out in the sun. It does make you feel better about yourself being tan. I have been using St. Tropez bronzing mousse and it has been working great! The color looks just like a real tan! You should definitely try it! :)

    • Oh really! Is it like a self-bronze? I’ve never used those before. I should look it up!

  • I lovvveeee tanning and being all brown and beautiful! And I break out WAY less when I’m tan. But I decided I want to look younger longer and not get all wrinkly in the next ten years.. but still.. I used to love going to the tanning salon. 15 minutes and your done! But I completely agree with all of your points! :)

    • Ugh it’s sooo hard! I feel like a ghost right now. I’m maid of honor for my best friend’s wedding this summer so hopefully I can get outside a lot so I’m naturally tan for that!

  • lindsey

    I used to love tanning. I tanned from about the age of 15-24….. I am really fair with freckles but with blonde hair and green eyes so I felt being dark make me look really healthy. I am now 29 with 5 kids and won’t get near a tanning bed. I get spray tans when I need a color boost :)

    • Good for you, Lindsey! It’s been so hard for me, but I’ve still been sticking to my guns and haven’t gone! :) You’re children will thank you!

  • I used to tan, enjoyed the few minutes away but so agree with all your points! I haven’t done it for a few years now, and I don’t miss it a bit.

    • This is the first year I haven’t tanned in spring. It actually wasn’t as hard as I thought!! Now that it’s almost summer, I already have a small tan just from being outside taking walks:) So glad I didn’t spend the money to do it!

  • Yay, pale people! *highfive*

  • Yes, yes, yes! I love everything about this, especially #1! I’m fair skinned, so tanning doesn’t work well for me, but even so I used to do it in college, especially for special events. Now I use the self-tanning lotions if I need a little boost (I mean, I’m seriously translucent without it), and I did invest in a spray tan for our wedding. That was worth it because it lasted through the honeymoon, too. :)

    • PS — Good for you for standing firm!! I admire your conviction!

      • Aw thanks! I seriously don’t even miss it! Now that it’s getting warmer outside, I am slightly tan already just from taking walks! Glad I didn’t dish out the money.

    • LOL!! I’ve never done a spray tan- I’m seriously so afraid I’ll look orange! I’ve always wanted to try one- maybe for my wedding someday!

  • I only tan in the winter. No point in having a package for spring/summer. lol

    • I always tanned in spring just so I wouldn’t look white come summer!

  • You know, I didn’t realize tanning was still big. I moved to the south last summer and EVERYONE tans. I have never been a big tanning person. I’m too pale for it and I just like being pale. So, it’s always strange to be asked to go. I don’t want to do it… I haven’t done it since high school. I’m good. I’ll stay pale.

    • Really? I didn’t know that everyone tans down south!! (I’m from Wisconsin). Up here, people tan moreso just to get some Vitamin D. lol

  • jeansandateacup

    Good for you! Tanning is so bad for your skin. When you get older you’ll be glad that you don’t have extra wrinkles from tanning. But I understand how it feels to be pale in a culture that likes tan skin. I’m naturally pale and I used to feel bad about it. I would try lotions and tanning outside but I’d just end up orange or burnt! As I got older I realized that I don’t need to be tan to be beautiful! I’ve embraced my pale-ness!
    Jeans and a Teacup

    • Thanks for reading, Jean! That’s what my mom always told me! I think my future self will thank me :) Love your positivity and self-love!