A Base Tan Will Not Protect You As Much From Sunburn As You Think.
Whether you’re trying to avoid sunburn or, you know, skin cancer , starting summer with a tan doesn’t help much.
This tan only provides protection with SPF 4 . While this is better than nothing, you are better off putting on real sunscreen than spending the spring working on your “base tan,” especially if you achieve this by regularly visiting a tanning bed.
Tanning salons are classified as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer . This is a more hazardous category than the one in which the pesticide glyphosate is placed, and the same category as cigarette smoke. (How does the IARC make decisions? Here is a handy video explaining this.)
Even though this tan protects slightly against the UVB rays that cause sunburn, it does nothing against the UVA rays that cause your skin to thicken and wrinkle over the years. Both types of rays cause cancer. Therefore, for full protection, apply a broad spectrum sunscreen and do not rely on a base tan.
Photo by Alex Liive .