Instagram's Most Dangerous Beauty Trend

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#SunburnArt has been trending lately on Insta, featuring homemade tattoos that have been literally seared into people's skin.


A photo posted by Julie Winther (@juliewinther16) on

Sure, some of them look kinda cool, but we don't have to tell you that this is a terrible idea. All your years learning about sun protection should flag a warning in your brain. But here's a refresher course on why sunburns are so much more dangerous than a hot red rash.

When your skin cells get sunburned, the DNA in the cells becomes damaged. UV rays, the harmful stuff in sunlight, damage the DNA through the production of free radicals which causes an imbalance with antioxidant defenses (do you get why antioxidants are so important now?), resulting in oxidative stress on the skin's molecules. This can lead to premature aging.

The result? Redness, swelling and the burning sensation that are the all-too-recognizable symptoms of a sunburn. And when the skin peels off, that's essentially layers of dead skin cells flaking off your body. Especially harsh burns can cause the blood vessels in your skin to swell, which releases liquids that become fluid-filled blisters. Those sunburn tattoos are really just visible dead skin - definitely not cute. And increased sun exposure increases your risk for skin cancer and prematurely aged skin (WRINKLES). Uh, we'll pass.
Ew!How can you prevent this massive skin destruction? First, be sure to pick a broad-spectrum sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher, that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply often, at least every two hours. Slather on plenty, and be sure to keep an eye on expiration dates.

Also, there are plenty of cool temporary tattoos that look way better at the beach. Here are a few of our faves RN:


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