Is There Such a Thing as a “Safe” Tan?


shutterstock_87329222One of the most common questions concerning sun protection and tanning is whether there’s a “safe” amount of UV light that can offer skin benefits. There seems to be a number of tanning myths out there that can provide misinformation to those seeking the answer to this question. Before heading out in the sun, here are some of the facts you should know.

Myth 1: Developing a Base Tan Will Protect Your Skin

Whether from a tanning bed, sunlight or even a sunless tanning lotion, having a “base” tan won’t make your skin any less susceptible to the sun’s harmful UV rays. In truth, any amount of tanning is your skin’s response to damage, so it doesn’t matter whether you have a little or a lot. And further tanning on top of that base will only create further damage.

Myth 2: You Can’t Get a Sunburn on a Cloudy Day

Countless studies have shown that clouds do a poor job of blocking UV penetration.  So even if you’re lounging by the pool on an overcast day, you’ll still need that trusty sunblock to protect your skin!

Myth 3: Sun Exposure Is Required to Get Vitamin D

Although small amounts of UV light can help your body synthesize vitamin D, most dermatologists agree that this benefit does not outweigh the serious risks that overexposure to the sun can cause. Instead, there are a variety of dietary supplements that you can take to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D without putting yourself at risk for skin cancer.