I will never be able to stress to my friends enough how important sunscreen is. A lot of my friends tan in tanning salons. This is probably the worst thing for someone's skin. Tanning outside alone is bad, but tanning inside with no protection whatsoever is ten times worse. From experience, when going into a tanning salon (I used to tan) they give you tanning lotion. This has no SPF or protection in it. It really just draws the UV rays to your body more so you get a stronger tan...hence more damage to your skin. I do not believe that you can use a sunscreen for indoor tanning. Trust me..I've tried it..and I still got pretty burnt a couple of times. I usually tan pretty well and will rarely get burnt.
My grandmother had skin cancer, and it was a huge wake up call for everyone in my family. From then on, my parents would always make me put on sun screen when I went out into the sun. If I am sunbathing, I will usually where an SPF 30. If the rays are stronger, I will put a SPF 45 on my face. Many people think that you only need to put an SPF on when you're laying out in the sun...wrong. Many people also think you only need to wear an SPF during the summer....wrong. I wear a moisturizer that has an SPF in it every single day. I put it on every single morning. I use Hope in a Jar by Philosophy. I love it soooo much. It is such an amazing moisturizer. By using an SPF every single day, I am preventing early aging. Yes...that means getting wrinkles when I'm in my late 30's. Many people who use a sunscreen every day have incredible skin and also look extremely young.
Over the weekend, many people from my school came back looking very sun burnt. I think people ignore the fact of how dangerous sun burn really is. Many people say..."It'll just turn to tan."..ignoring the fact that serious damage has been done to their skin. I am not scared or embarrassed to admit that I will use self tanner if I feel I need to be a bit tanner. Many self tanners today look incredibly natural. My favorite right now is Sun Labs. Once in a while I will get a spray tan done. Self tanning is a safe way to get tan. I am not saying that you have to completely avoid outdoor tanning all together... Just make sure that you are protecting yourself when you do so. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. So, just make sure that you are protecting your skin every single day!
p.s...there is no such thing as a "water proof" sunscreen. Also, anything that is SPF 15 or below will not give you the protection you need to help protect your skin against cancer. So those of you using a tanning oil with SPF 8....try again.