I found more information about Tanning from the Victorian Better Health Channel to help you make a decision about getting a tan.
Do not damage your skin
A tan is a sign of skin damage. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or a solarium increases your risk of skin cancer and ages your skin. Having a tan won’t protect your skin against sunburn. Alternatives include fake tanning lotions, tablets and tan accelerators. Each option carries some health risks.
A tan is a sign of skin damage. There is no such thing as a ‘safe’ tan. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or a solarium increases your risk of skin cancer and ages your skin. People with fair skin are at higher risk than people with darker skin.
Many people mistakenly believe that having a tan will protect their skin against sunburn and further DNA damage by ultraviolet radiation. However, a tan offers minimal protection (around SPF3). Even without burning, UVB radiation ages the skin through irreparable DNA damage. Repeated doses of UVA radiation also contribute to long-term damage, even when no sunburn occurs.
Over the past 20 years or so, campaigns to heighten awareness of skin cancer have resulted in fewer people sunbathing. Commonly used alternatives to sunbathing include fake tanning lotions, tan accelerators and solariums. Each carries potential health risks.
A tanning method that doesn’t use UV radiation is preferable if you want your body to appear tanned. Remember, you still need to protect yourself from UV radiation when the UV Index level is 3 and above, even when using these alternative tanning methods.
Understand how you get a tan
Skin cells in the top layer of skin (epidermis) produce a pigment called melanin that gives skin its natural colour. When skin is exposed to UV radiation, more melanin is produced, causing the skin to darken. This is what we know as a ‘tan’. A tan is a sign that the skin is attempting to protect itself against UV damage. It is not a sign of good health.
There is no ‘safe’ tan. Any method that involves exposure of the skin to UV radiation, either through exposure to sunlight or in a solarium, will cause skin damage. The more your skin is exposed to UV radiation from any source, the greater the risk of skin cancer and the more quickly skin will age. Compare the skin on the back of your hand with the inside of your thigh to see the damage caused by years of sun.
Australians love to be tanned although skin cancer rates are very high
The desire for a tan has been part of the Australian culture since the mid-1900s. Sun-browned skin has been prized as a sign of good health and attractiveness. However, we now know that deliberately exposing skin to UV radiation can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
Australians are exposed to some of the highest levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure in the world. Combined with the fashion for tanned skin, this has led to an epidemic of skin cancer. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. More than 1,600 Australians die from skin cancer each year.