Winter is coming to an end and summer is quickly approaching. Gyms are packed, sundresses are on sale and unfortunately, tanning salon memberships are skyrocketing. There's nothing wrong with the little confidence boost that comes along with a summer glow, but catching some rays comes with a serious price. 

No, I'm not talking about your $30 unlimited session monthly membership at the tanning salon.

Hayden Massey

UV rays from the sun and from tanning booths cause about 90% of melanomas or skin cancers—the most common form of cancer in young adults.

Although the sun rays and artificial tanning both give off UV rays, not all rays are created equal. The UV ray spectrum is broken up into UVB and UVA rays. The UVB rays cause superficial damage, while UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and are responsible for tanning.

There are plenty of alternatives to UV tanning, like at home mousses and spray tans that won't leave you looking like the cast of Jersey Shore.

Tanning booths emit about 12 times the amount of UVA rays than the sun does. So, it's a no-brainer than tanning in your youth increases the risk of skin cancer by 75%.

The consequences associated with indoor tanning are so serious, that many countries are taking legal measures to protect their teenagers from irreversible skin damage. Spain, Germany, Belgium, The United Kingdom and Austria have already banned indoor tanning for teenagers.

This is especially important because the pressure to be tan for proms and spring break often push teens to tanning salons while they are still in high school.

Not to mention, tanning has addictive qualities that can leave you with a physical dependency to the beds. This addiction comes from the endorphins released by the UV light and severely addicted users have experienced withdrawal symptoms like nausea and jitteriness. 

Think twice before deciding to "just go before prom" or commit to bronzing your skin for the month of February before you hit Mexico for vacation. The mood enhancement and relaxation that come along with the summer glow could leave you with a physical and psychological dependence.

The indoor tanning industry often advertises the dose of vitamin D that you can absorb the rays emitted from tanning beds. Fortunately, there are healthier and tastier ways to grab some vitamin D than exposing yourself to harmful radiation.

juice, sweet, cocktail, orange juice, smoothie, milk, ice, cream
Jocelyn Hsu

Salmon, dairy products and orange juice and delicious sources of vitamin D; if none of those sound appetizing, vitamin D supplements will do the trick.

Most of these self-tanners are affordable, easy to use and will leave you looking bronzed in a couple of hours.

There are tons of safe alternatives to tanning beds on the market, but the best beauty tip out there is to love the skin that you're already in.