Posted on July 22nd, 2011
You probably know by now that there is no such thing as a “healthy tan.” But just in case, since we see so many of you sunbathing despite all the dangers, we thought we’d remind you – and ourselves (hey, the temptation is there) why getting a suntan is a bad idea.
- A suntan means damaged skin. Any amount of tanning, despite the “healthy” glow, means that SOME skin damage had been done. Dermatologists tell us there’s no such thing as “safe tanning,” since the very fact that your skin is browned means it was damaged by the sun.
- The absolute worst hours to be in the sun, especially for prolonged periods of time, are between 11am – 4pm.
- You should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day of the year, even when it’s cloudy outside.
- Not only are tanning beds not safer than sun tanning, they are actually worse. 20 minutes spent in a tanning bed are equivalent to spending an entire day at the beach.
- Prolonged and regular exposure to UVB and UVA rays can cause skin cancer, wrinkles, skin discoloration, the formation of visible blood vessels, and a leathery skin texture.
- If you must have that summer glow, consider using a self-tanning lotion. Many of those have dramatically improved over the past decade, so orangey shades and telltale streaks are a thing of the past.
We should probably mention that in recent years, doctors are telling us that our bodies NEED some sun exposure to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D. The best way to do that is by still applying sunscreen to our face, neck and décolletage every day, but aiming to get roughly 10 daily minutes of unprotected sun exposure through larger areas of skin such as the arms and the legs.