Victorian women valued porcelain-white
skin and generally shunned the sun. People today want to sport
what they call a "healthy tan" by sitting for hours
under the sun. There is nothing healthy about a tan. Having one
means sun-damage to the skin that can make you age faster. It
also increases the risk of skin cancers.
dangers of sun-damage are not appreciated because the consequences
(wrinkles and skin cancers) do not appear until 10 - 20 years
later. In Australia, where the beach culture has been particularly
strong, the death rate from melanoma (cancerous mole) has increased
from less than 1.0 per 100,000 between 1931-34 in both men and
women to 5.0 and 2.4 per 100,000 in men and women respectively
between 1990-94. Changing attitudes about tanning is more urgent
now because we're getting much more sunlight because of the depletion
of the earth's ozone layer.
If you want to see how much damage the
sun has caused to your skin, just look at the difference between
the skin on the inside of the upper arm, which is shaded from
the sun, and the exposed skin on the outer part of the forearm.
Just see for yourself how much better your skin would have been
if you had protected your skin from the sun from an early age.