Regrets: The Crispy Years

I don’t have too many regrets so far in life. If I’ve made a mistake and learned something from it, it’s probably good that it happened. There is one thing I absolutely cannot figure out what I was thinking and I have yet to find a lesson learned from it. 
My excessive use of tanning beds from age 16-21. 

Then (2007), Now

It pains me to even think about it now. And it’s really painful to see it. How crispy do I look? Why was I wasting money on something so dangerous? These days, articles are released all the time about the dangers of tanning beds. You can read a few here, here, here, and here.
I’ll sum it up for you: It’s really really bad for you (but of course, you knew that already). And because I started as a teen, I’ve increased my chance of Melanoma by 75%. Scary! I guess the lesson is, when you are young you feel invincible, but that feeling doesn’t last.

Overall, it makes me sad that I did this for so many years. And the consequences are something that I’ll have to live with. At the time I thought it made me look thinner (especially after gaining the dreaded freshman 15) and it hid my acne scars a bit better. I was too busy looking at the present me in the mirror to worry about what the future me would see.

There aren’t too many articles out there about what to do if you’ve already done the damage. I found a Q&A from Marie Claire here which basically just says that you should wear sunscreen and use retinols. Thank you, Captain Obvious
These days, with two redheaded siblings, I fully embrace sunscreen at all times. I also visit a dermatologist regularly to check for skin cancer. Sure, pimples are more obvious on fair skin and cellulite shows a bit easier. But I’ll take that over looking 10 years older than I actually am later in life.

So this Summer at the beach, you’ll find me in a one-piece (remember this post?), covered in SPF 70, wearing a big floppy hat and sitting under the umbrella. 
Join me, why dontcha?

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