Plastic surgeons banded together to prevent a tax on nose jobs and other cosmetic surgeries. Photo: Getty Images

The secret's out: Cosmetic surgeons pressured Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to replace the so-called 5% bo-tax on all treatments considered cosmetic surgery with a 10% tanning tax instead.

Cleary, the beauty industry didn't just get mad – they got it done – which insiders say is due to the key support of major medical lobbyists like botox maker Allergen and heavy hitters opposed to the provision like The American Medical Association.

"We suggested that the tanning tax would be a better alternative to the cosmetic tax and hopefully will reduce the incidence of skin cancer down the road," President of the American Academy of Dermatology Association David M. Pariser told The Wall Street Journal.

But taxing perpetually tan people isn't an original idea; Senator Reid's spokesman acknowledged that the tanning tax had briefly been considered before the committee decided to go with the bo-tax instead.

Tanning experts say the bill not only hurts an already beleaguered industry suffering from the current recession, but Congress's estimate of how much the tax will bring in – $2.7 billion over 10 years - is completely off the mark.

"It's almost laughable," says Dan Humiston, President of the Indoor Tanning Association – and owner of 34 salon tanning chains in upstate New York. "We do have a lobbying presence in Washington, but not to the extent of the medical industry," Humiston adds. While the Indoor Tanning Assocation says that basking in ultraviolet light for too long is potentially dangerous, they advocate "responsible" tanning limits on sessions.

Meanwhile, The Skin Cancer Foundation contends that even one tanning booth session doubles your risk of skin cancer – and tanning before the age of 30 increases your skin cancer rate by a whopping 75%.