Overcast skies, rain clouds and a winter that seems to last for
eternity do not exactly add up to the golden glow one might sport
after attending the University of Hawaii instead of the University
of Michigan. While sunny days are still around the corner, hot
spots on campus provide an alternative to outdoor tanning.

The newest venue in Ann Arbor is Campus Tan on Church Street
Co-owned by two friends, Amir Attary and Rob Bender, this
palm-decorated tanning hut opened in January. Though it joined the
team of Tanfastic and Supertans, Campus Tan is succeeding due in
part to its friendly environment and great package deals.

“It’s been packed,” said Attary.
“Starting about two to three weeks before Spring Break, the
wait was over an hour.” Campus Tan doesn’t take advance
appointments, so those hoping to beat the traffic had to try their
luck with walk-ins.

Though medical professionals try to dispel the myth that fake
baking is the perfect way to get a base tan before going on
vacation, even that couldn’t stop the throngs of customers
who visited Campus Tan, among others. They wanted an easy way to do
away with pesky tan lines and unattractive, painful sunburns.
Undoubtedly, tanning from a bottle, such as Mystic Tan, is safer
than the radiation-booth method. Either way, regular application of
sunscreen with at least SPF 15 or higher is the best way to avoid
future danger associated with tanning. Another campus legend to
dismiss is that fake baking before a beachfront retreat means one
can stay in the sun longer. The fact remains that sun exposure
should be limited, especially during the middle of the day from 10
a.m to 4 p.m, when the sun is strongest.

Tanning salons do their best to protect clients from the dangers
of fake baking. “We provide lots of lotions, especially with
moisturizers,” said Attary. “Most people buy it here,
but some bring their own.” Attary also said that, by law,
they are required to outfit customers with goggle-type eyewear.

Additionally, there are limits to how long a customer can stay
in the booth. “Pending the skin type, we advise anywhere from
six to 10 minutes,” said Attary. After soaking up the
artificial rays, clients then sit for about 10 minutes before
walking around campus again.

In a recent study published in The Archives of Pediatrics and
Adolescent Medicine, 40 percent of white females between the ages
of 13 and 19 had used a tanning booth at least once; about 28
percent of these same females had used a tanning booth three or
more times. This doesn’t mean, however, that gentlemen
aren’t also clamoring for a tan: 12 percent of males between
13 and 19 have tanned once and 7 percent of those returned a few
more times over.

“Most of our clients are returning,” said Attary. Be
it the close location to Central Campus or excellent service, more
and more students flock to Campus Tan to get that healthy,
just-got-off-the-beach look.

Be wary, however, of the lurking dangers of tanning, especially
on a frequent basis. Approximately 80 percent of sun exposure and
damage happens before the age of 18, and this includes damage done
by artificial light found in tanning booths. Though users do not
see the effects now, excessive real or fake tanning can result in
skin cancer, wrinkles, cataracts and other eye problems.

If fake baking doesn’t strike your fancy, but you still
want an Aruba-worthy color, don’t leave Michigan just yet.
Snow, concrete and water reflect up to 85 percent of UVA and UVB
rays, and Michigan’s campus has more than enough of that to
go around.

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