There was a time in history when having a golden bronze tan did not have the status it carries today. A pale white appearance was considered a sign of affluence until the 1920s. Having a tan meant that you were a menial laborer, forced to work outside while the rich sat under awnings and parasols. Over time, the fashion changed, as it always does, and the ultra pale affluent white ladies of Europe sought a less pale complexion.

Prior to changes in attitude about tanning, European ladies who wished to maintain an ashen appearance used lead based cosmetics on their faces. This, of course, led to lead poisoning in some cases. Another method of skin lightening was the use of arsenic. This seems barbaric in retrospect, but even in today's quest for beauty people do things just as dangerous to themselves.

Anything taken to extremes usually produces bad results, and limiting exposure to the sun did. Niels Finsen, in 1903, discovered that exposure to sunlight was actually beneficial to many infectious diseases. Rickets, for example, is a result of a vitamin D deficiency. This is easily remedied by exposing the patient to sunlight so that the person's body can produce vitamin D.

Today we are witness to a complete reverse in attitudes towards tanning, which has unfortunately produced problems of its own. It is now well-known that too much exposure to the sun’s ultra-violet rays, the ones that produce tans, can cause melanoma, the most deadly of all skin cancers. UV radiation used in tanning beds is known to be a carcinogen. Those at the greatest risk of developing skin cancer are those under 30. Now, if cancer isn't bad enough, too much exposure to the sun can also make skin age and wrinkle faster, mutate DNA and negatively affect the immune system.

This is not to say that one should impose draconian measures on oneself, similar to those prior to the 1920s. It simply means that caution and restraint should be used in one's exposure to the sun. Everyone needs some sunlight to remain healthy. Many studies have shown that a reasonable exposure to the sun can help to reduce the risks of some forms of cancer, diabetes, and the general malaise one feels over the light-reduced winter months.

So go ahead and enjoy the sun, just don't overdo it. If you want to do something for you body to improve your appearance, try an Ultra-trim wrap. Body wraps are a great, non invasive way to fight the signs of aging, safely, and they only take about an hour.

Author's Bio: 

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