According to research carried out at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester by Sherry L. Pagoto, Ph.D. and associates, use of sunless tanning products have reduced the sunbathing behavior exhibited by women at the beach.
Women were seen to sunbathe less for the remainder of summer, after having used the sunless tanning products and were also less likely to have sunburns, both of which are known to contribute to skin cancer risk as well as the premature aging of skin.
The study found that not only did the use of fake tan products reduce sunbathing behavior for the rest of that summer; it even had long term positive repercussions. Women were seen to reduce their sun exposure by 33% as a result of using the sunless tanning products, as against on 10% of the control subjects – i.e. women who did not use those products.
Women, who used the fake tanning products, had 73% fewer sunburns and were also seen to have increased use of protective clothing by 37%. The results of this study suggest that more physicians should be telling their patients to use sunless tanning products as a viable alternative to sunbathing which may actually help in the long run, keeping people from actual sunbathing.