SPORTING a summer tan all year round may be the latest trend, but the potential health risks of frequenting a tanning salon at a young age are far from fashionable.
Magazines and music videos splash bronzed pop stars and public figures on TV screens and glossy pages, stressing how important it is to maintain a healthy tone in all seasons.
And for those places where the sun rarely shines, mankind has devised a way to make it possible to catch UV rays both at home and at the local gym without the need to go outside.
But the dangers of excessive tanning are serious. Too much exposure to UV rays on a sunbed can lead to skin cancer, the formation of cataracts and suppression of the immune system, according to Cancer Research UK.
For too long the tanning studio has been accessible to people of all ages, with children as young as 10 using unmanned salons receiving burns.
But now, thanks to a private members bill introduced by former Cardiff North MP Julie Morgan, the Welsh Assembly Government has passed new legislation to make it an offence for tanning salons to serve youngsters from April 8.
The Welsh law goes further than that of the rest of the UK as tanning studios in Wales will also have to provide eye protection for adults and show health information about the use of sun beds.
It is a welcome change to see Wales leading the agenda on this issue, which may pave the way for similar legislation in other parts of the country.
Not only will the changes prevent children from the risk of developing skin cancer due to excessive exposure to harmful UV rays, it will act as a warning to adults of the risks of tanning.
And at a time when jobs are short, the announcement of tanning salon company Glodon to man 30 of its existing salons will create some much needed employment for 150 people.
Of course, magazines will continue to splash pictures of a "sunkissed" Gavin Henson or Charlotte Chuch on the front pages and many people will look to subvert the law.
While the Welsh Assembly Government may not be able to change the perception a year-long fake tan is attractive at least it is taking the initiative to protect children from irresponsible tanning.