Have you ever tried to get your teenage son or daughter to stop sun tanning, only to realize after several months/years, that you will not win with peer pressure?
The look of a suntanned body is "in" more than ever, and the tanning industry is one of the fastest growing beauty sectors.
Do we have to see our children sacrifice their health for sake of fashion?
Not necessarily. Working in a tanning industry, I am watching a growing trend: parents are bringing in their children for a spray tan. Some as young as 11.
Is this a case of vanity?
Maybe, but as one of those mothers explained to me: "I had a death in the family because of the skin cancer, and myself, I had few cancerous spots removed. I know the danger, and I am not prepared to risk my daughter getting sick or dying. I am teaching her right habits so that she fits in with her friends, but takes care of herself at the same time."
Suddenly, it did not sound so vain any more. After all, I feel that my first duty as a mother is to keep my children safe.
I make sure that I teach them how to cross the road and eat healthy foods, why not teach them how to avoid melanoma?
Sure, it can be a little bit expensive, but so are braces!
And the result, if they learn the lesson, will not only ensure that they stay healthy, but also as an added benefit will give them a beautiful skin for the rest of their lives.
It might be worth it, after all.
Boshena is an owner of TanXtreme, a spray tanning salon in Byron Bay Australia. She also wrote a spray tanning guide, which you can view on: