Becoming bronze

Ann Charron

Ann Charron

As Old Man Winter blows in and summer days of basking in the sun are long forgotten, students turn to an alternative source of sunlight to get rid of their winter blues.

Indoor tanning remains a popular activity among adults despite the various health risks associated with it.

“My freshman year I started getting seasonal depression so tanning is like artificial sunlight to me,” Darcy Kallhoff, a junior from Marietta, Minn, said.

Kallhoff, who started tanning her freshmen year in high school, said curing her seasonal depression is not the only reason she chooses to go tanning.

“It’s makes me feel better about myself,” Kallhoff said. “It’s like a self esteem and relaxation booster.”

The self esteem boost tanned look is what sends Annie Hegg, a junior from Canby, Minn., to the tanning beds.

“I just tan in the winter because I want to get light,” Hegg said.

Hegg said that she also finds the experience relaxing and tries to go whenever she can find the time.

“I enjoy it because it’s relaxing and I like to lay out in the summer along the beach,” Hegg said. “It’s a way to get warm rays.”

According to Jo Fix, manager of Year Round Brown, tanning has many other positives.

“Tanning has a lot of positive effects. It helps people with SAD disorder, it’s good for people with acne, and a lot of people come to help boost their self esteem,” Fix said.

Another positive is the controlled tanning atmosphere.

“In comparison to the sun, you’re in a controlled environment. It’s better in that effect,” Fix said.

While there are some positives to tanning, there are also risks.

According to a recent study done by the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, overexposure to indoor tanning rays can cause eye injury, premature wrinkling of the skin, light-induced skin rashes, and can increase the chances of skin cancer.

With these risks considered, Year Round Brown and other tanning salons comply with federal regulations and a South Dakota law that allows tanning only once a day.

Tanning salons also set down their own guidelines and rules.

“We suggest different guidelines for different beds you choose and suggest what type of lotion to use,” Fix said.

Year Round Brown uses a skin analysis to help their clients determine their skin type and what time they should start out at so that burning does not occur.

The Ritz Hair Studio, a hair and tanning salon in one, also lays down guidelines and suggestions for tanning.

“We do have goggles or sunnies that they have to wear,” Melissa Schenkel, an employee, said. “Starting out we usually suggest 10 minutes at the most.”

Since the Ritz provides a variety of services to their customers, they often incorporate this with their tanning.

“We really stress covering eyebrows that have been recently waxed since the skin is sensitive,” Schenkel said.

While both tanning salons give suggestions for decreasing the risks associated with tanning, it all comes down to the discretion of the tanner.

“We give them all their different options. It depends on the person,” Schenkel said.

While Kallhoff and Hegg have continued to tan despite the risks, both said they are aware of them.

“I kind of talk myself out of the risk as saying I won’t do this the rest of my life,” Kallhoff said.

#1.887759:3021979867.jpg:tanning.jpg:Megan Sikkink, a junior history major, gets ready for a tanning session by rubbing on tanning lotion. Students across campus tan during the winter to keep themselves brown and for a variety of other reasons.:Theanne Tangen