What’s the Safest Way to Get a Tan?

I try so hard to use sunscreen these days that my skin now, in July, is still the same light beige color as it was this winter. But if you crave that sunshine, you are probably wondering what is the best way to get a tan, and if any method is really safe.

The sun causes cancer

I roll my eyes when I hear that such and such a nutritional supplement is associated with cancer, because the risk is usually infinitesimal. But sunlight is closely linked to cancer, and skin cancer is the most common cancer in America.

It’s impossible to get a tan from the sun without exposing yourself to UVA and UVB rays, so it’s best to use sunscreen whenever possible.

Tanning protects you a bit from further exposure, but only slightly: tanning is equivalent to an SPF 4 sunscreen , although to be honest, an SPF 15 sunscreen also works roughly with SPF 4 protection when you wear it. subtle (as most of us do).

Tanning beds also cause cancer

Sunbathing indoors with UV lamps should be slightly safer than lying in the sun. Although the difference is minimal. Indoor tanning equipment is considered a carcinogen in both the US and the World Health Organization, and its use is estimated to cause an estimated 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the US each year.

Tanning beds only use low levels of UV-B, which causes sunburn, but they give you a huge dose of UV-A. It can cause sunburn, but it also contributes to the development of cancer and the effects of the sun in aging, wrinkles and thickening of the skin. This way, you may look good in the short term, but in the future, you will only make matters worse.

Solar Tanning Machines Are Probably (?) Safe

Tanning spray and sunless tanning lotions are the best choice if you need a tan. They do not damage your skin like the sun and are not associated with skin cancer. They contain a sugar-like molecule called dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which reacts with the proteins in your skin to create a brownish color. There are various formulations of tanning products for dull tanning, including those that are “DHA-free,” but work in a similar way.

The color they produce on your skin is not a real tan; it just looks like one thing. It does not provide significant protection from further sun exposure, so you will still need to use a lot of sunscreen.

The safety of sunscreens for tanning is still unknown, but there is no evidence that they are worse for you than the sun , which causes cancer , so keep the prospects in mind.

So, here’s what is unknown. We do not know if it is safe to inhale the spray in tanning salons or to let it get on mucous membranes such as the areas in the mouth and eyes. For now, it’s best to use nasal plugs, lip balm, and glasses while you’re self-tanning. (Check with your tanning department; they’ll probably provide them.) Or, you can use a non-tanning tanning lotion to get the same look at home, if you’re sure you can rub it in evenly.

There is also some speculation about whether DHA can damage the DNA in your skin , but to date there is no clear evidence that it poses a hazard to real people in real doses of tanning. Chances are, even if it turns out to be true, it will be far less risk than the risk you take by going outside without sunscreen.


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