Hello Sunshine! Five Myths About That Golden Summer Tan

Myth #1.  “Getting a base tan protects skin from damage.”  TRUTH: There is no evidence that a “base tan” provides any protection from burns or general skin damage. The best way to prevent sunburn is to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply it often. For the best skin protection, add a wide-brimmed hat, and wear sunglasses.  Nothing wrong with finding a cool, shady spot.

Myth #2. “My spray tan will protect me from burns and skin damage.”  TRUTH: Nope.  The artificial color from sprays or lotions does not confer ANY protection from the sun’s damaging rays.  You still need your sunscreen.

Myth #3. “I need some sun to get my daily dose of Vitamin D.”  TRUTH: According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, “the safest and recommended way to obtain Vitamin D is a combination of diet and supplements.” Their current recommendation is for 1,000 IUs of Vitamin D daily.

Myth #4.“I only need to apply sunscreen on sunny days.”  TRUTH: Dermatologists recommend applying sunscreen all year long if you are going to be outdoors.  Any daylight exposure can cause skin damage, even in winter, even on cloudy days.

Myth #5. “Tanning beds offer a safer way to get a tan.”  TRUTH: The radiation from tanning beds prematurely ages your skin and increases your risk of skin cancer, including malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

Whether you lie on the beach or hit the tanning bed, all tanning causes skin damage. In a very short time, tanning can cause dark spots, wrinkles, blotchy skin, premature aging, and increases your risk for skin cancer. The bottom line?  The only safe tan is a fake tan.