In the past, social norms dictated that the desirable skin tone was a pale pink hue, which indicated that somebody was of the class which did not spend long days out in the fields labouring, with their skin being gently coloured by the rays of the sun. In recent times, this trend has reversed. Britons will go on holiday for a week or two and spend the entire time lying horizontal on a sun lounger, trying to make sure every inch of their body is affected by the sun’s rays. For some, a week on holiday is not enough. Increasing numbers of people wish to make that summer glow a year round phenomenon, and this is reflected in the growing numbers of sunbeds for sale.Suntanning is the act of exposing the skin to ultraviolet radiation for the purpose of darkening skin colour. It is a natural process whereby the skin creates a brown-coloured pigment called melanin to protect it against the harmful UV rays in sunlight.Those who are looking for sunbeds for sale need not part with huge amounts of cash in their search for year round sun. Some companies sell ex-rental sunbeds, which may be either ex-home hire or ex-salon use, but are unlikely to be in bad condition. A buyer would have to decide between a horizontal sunbed, which mirrors the experience of lying on a sunbed in the beach, and a vertical one, sometimes referred to as a sun shower, which some may prefer as it feels less like one is being shut within a box.An internet search reveals that there is quite a large number of sunbeds for sale, and the prices vary, with a new sunbed likely to start at about £1,000. Although this might seem a lot of money, for those who would go on holiday just to get a tan, this investment might end up saving them thousands of pounds in the long run. There are some dangers, though, in purchasing one’s own sunbeds. There has been discussion in the media or ‘tanorexia’ – an obsession with going to tanning partners which grips people so excessively that it is comparable to eating disorders. This is often associated with young people trying to copy the look of celebrities, and the sun kissed look featured by almost every fashion model in every magazine.It was reported in the Sun a couple of years ago that singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse owns her own sunbed, and spends more than an hour every day absorbing its rays. This prompted reminders from experts that the each session on a sunbed should last no longer than 15-20 minutes, with 48 hours in between to allow the skin to recover. Traditional alternatives are bottled fake tan, and the treatment offered by most beauty salons is a spray tan, which promises to banish the threat of any unattractive lines that may result from applying one’s own fake tan.Whether it is the trends set by celebrities or the availability of sunbeds for sale that is to blame, it does seem that Britons, and especially young girls, are increasingly determined to achieve a year round tan that is hardly in keeping with our temperate climate. Social studies have shown that men and women both view a tanned body as being healthier than a tanned body, but it is worth bearing in mind that if a sunbed is used for more than the recommended amount of time, there is likely an ugly truth hiding behind apparently healthy tanned skin.
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