Many people believe that a base tan is a good idea to protect you from sun damage — but they’re wrong. There is no good sun tan. Read on for an explanation.
In this article you’ll learn:
- How does tanning happen?
- Is tanning bad for you?
- How Geologie can help prevent wrinkles.
What is tanning?
When your skin is exposed to UV radiation, in order to protect the skin from further damage it increases the production of skin pigment called melanin. If you’re skin type II through IV, this will likely cause your skin tone to darken over the next 48 hours, and it’s a sign of damage.
Is sun tanning bad for you?
Dr. Steve, founding dermatologist at Geologie, said: Sun tanning is terrible. But here’s the thing about sun exposure: it extends life. Researchers have looked at sun exposure in large cohorts of patients, and it reduces the risk of all “cause mortality” (death). The thinking is that sun exposure actually causes vasodilation of your blood vessels, and that dramatically lowers your blood pressure. And so these are cardiovascular benefits that help prevent cardiovascular disease — the number one killer. And vitamin D, which we get from the sun, is a good thing, in terms of anti-cancer and anti- inflammation properties.
But if you're specifically getting a sun tan to get darker, to prevent you from getting additional sunburns, you're increasing the risk of skin cancer. The reason is because you've done damage to your skin, and it’s produced more melanin as a defense to absorb some of the UV rays.
We know that the number of sunburns you get as a kid, they have lasting effects, and we know that using tanning beds dramatically increases your risk of melanoma. The extra melanin in tanned skin provides a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of about 2 to 4; far below the minimum recommended SPF of 15.
Sun tanning can also lead to premature aging and solar elastosis. Read more about that here.
Sun exposure in moderation that doesn't lead to skin redness or burns is good for you, although it’s hard to know what the exact dose is because everyone’s skin is different. But don't use a base tan to protect yourself, that's not the right strategy.
How Geologie can help prevent wrinkles
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