It has been said that the greatest amount of damage done by UV rays is that received before age 20. Research definitely indicates that over exposure to the sun's UV rays during childhood significantly increases the risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

The teen years see the most high risk sun exposure. Out of parent's watch, and insistence of sunscreen usage, teens are much more likely to get sunburns and sun damage. And this is not only happening at the beach and pool, but tanning salons too.

Teens make up a large percentage of the tanning salon clientele, and research now shows that regular tanning bed usage prior to the age of 35 can increase the risk of melanoma by a whopping 75%.

Legislation is under way to put a ban on minors using tanning beds, with 32 states currently regulating the use of tanning beds by minors. New legislation would make it illegal for anyone under 18 to use tanning beds. The current law is children between 14 and 17 first need parental approval.

By avoiding tanning in the sun or on tanning beds, we reduce our exposure not only to the risk of melanoma, but of premature skin aging caused by the sun as well! That leathery cowboy look is caused by - you guessed it - UV Rays. Starting UV based tanning at a young age only compounds the premature aging effect.

If you haven't already, opt for a Lavera Self Tanner or a True Natural Self Tanner, used in conjunction with a Broad Spectrum or UVA rated sunscreen. Check out some we've created specifically for this purpose: anti-aging tanner and sunscreen kits.