The Myth of Base Tanning
by Clem Mestre
For years tanning booth owners have sold the importance of a getting a “base tan” before any sandy beachside getaways. And on the surface, this argument makes sense. Tanned skin will typically darken with further sun exposure instead of burning bright red like pale skin does. But while sunburn is undoubtedly worse for your skin health than a tan, skin experts stress that ultraviolet rays in sunlight can wreak havoc on your skin health and appearance through a base tan as well as a sunburn.
Sunlight is full of UVA and UVB rays, which are forms of electromagnetic radiation. Let’s back up a second and rephrase that for emphasis: sunlight is a form of radiation. While UVB can be put to good use creating vitamin D, essential to bone growth and immune system function, most fair skinned people get their daily dose of vitamin D in only fifteen minutes of sunlight. Anything after that window means you’re no longer receiving health benefits from tanning. Far from beneficial, prolonged UVA and UVB exposure can damage your DNA, cause skin cancers, and contribute to wrinkles, age spots, or skin discolorations.
So how does the skin tan and why? There are tiny UV monitors within your skin called melanocytes which react when they’re overstimulated by light. To help skin defend against the UV onslaught the melanocytes begin creating melanin, a dark pigment capable of blocking harmful energy. While these melanocytes begin reacting immediately, it can take between five and seven days of repeated over-exposure for your skin to achieve the darkness most people consider a tan. Perry Robins, MD, the President of The Skin Cancer Foundation, drives this point home on his organization’s website, stating, “A tan is the body's response to damaged DNA in the skin cells — the skin darkens in order to prevent more damage but the person's risk of skin cancer is already increased.”
While certain tanning devices have less UVA than sunlight, both indoor and outdoor tanning pose health risks. Recent statistics show that those who use tanning booths are 74% more likely to develop melanoma skin cancer than those who don’t, and dermatologists seem to finally be getting the word out about tanning dangers, albeit through an unconventional spokesperson. Over the past year the media have latched on to the sensational story of Patricia Krentcil, a New Jersey mother whose tanning addiction has left her with shockingly leathery skin and an ongoing custody battle with the State of New Jersey for allegedly burning her five-year-old daughter in a tanning booth. The story has ignited a nationwide backlash on tanning salons, with bans on tanning booth use by minors in California and New York states as well as major cities like Chicago.
But if you’re shipping off on a sunny tropical getaway this summer, dermatologists have plenty of tips to prevent burns without a trip to the tanning salon. High SPF sunscreens labeled for UVA and UVB protection, applied thoroughly and frequently, will always be the first line of defense against sunburn, but now many companies offer stylish UV-blocking garments that can shield you from the sun without slime. Other suggestions include making a point to avoid sun exposure during the most intense hours (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.), timing your outdoor activities, and donning UV protected shades.
However you choose to enjoy those bright summer days, be sure to wear sun block and take frequent shade breaks to cool off and give your skin a rest. If you’re interested in more summer skincare tips or want to look into treatments to mend sun damaged skin, contact us! Our Health Skin Portal representatives can schedule you a free consultation with a skincare doctor near you!
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Addressing Your Pre-Wedding Skincare Needs
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The Benefits of Yogurt for Skin (Internally and Externally)
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The Future of Dermatology Procedures 2017 Scholarship – Healthy Skin Portal
11 Easy Ways to Keep Skin Looking Terrific
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Summer Skincare Essential: Face and Body Scrubs
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What are the Best Treatments for Your Skin?
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ASA Offers Up Seven Principles for Healthy Skin
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Essential Ingredients for a Great Complexion
Six Foods to Help Hydrate Your Skin
New Ideas for Morning Skincare
The Surprising New K-Beauty Super Ingredient: Watermelon
Five Simple Foods to Boost Your Skin
Keeping Your Skin Healthy in the Summer
Top Skincare Tips for Guys
5 Amazing Skincare Products That Are Cruelty-Free
The Best Selling Beauty Product on Amazon Will Surprise You
How Does Stress Impact Your Skin?
4 Acids That Will Actually Help With Your Skin
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What You Need to Do to Keep Great Skin for Life
How Much Skin Should Be Removed With a Mole?
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Jessica Alba's Skincare Line
Fall and Winter Skincare for Men
How to Create An Effective Daily Skincare Routine
4 Supplements You Should Be Using for Your Skin
Collagen Powder: The Next Skincare Secret or Another Passing Fad?
How Do You Pick The Right Moisturizer?
7 Ways to Protect Your Skin This Winter
8 Top Smoothie Ingredients for a Radiant Complexion
Five Water-Rich Foods Your Skin Needs
Uncovering the Secret of the Japanese 4-2-4 Cleansing Technique
Avocados: A Very Healthy Fruit
Using Superfood-Enhanced Beauty Products
Six Tips to Avoid Bad Skin Days
New Technology Allows Restoring of Your Own Collagen and Elastin
How to Slow the Skin's Aging Process
Important Supplements for Aging Skin
How Dermatologists Take Care of Their Skin
How Traditional Thanksgiving Foods Affects Your Skin
How to Use Chocolate to Get Better Skin
Simple Life Hacks for Your Skin
Natural Remedies to Keep Your Skin Looking Great This Winter
Organic Skin Care on the Rise
Little-Known Skincare Rules That Everyone Should Follow
Probiotics for Great Skin
A Supermodel's Skincare Secrets
Your Skin-Friendly Grocery List
Could Oil Cleansing Save Your Skin?
Beauty Device Market Set to Rise in Coming Years
How to Keep Your Skin Radiant Even in Winter
Using Collagen to Improve Your Skin
Night Cream: The Key to Healthy Winter Skin
Beauty Brands Harnessing the Power of Superfoods
4 Ways Alcohol Damages Your Skin
How Probiotics Help Skin
4 Ways to Maintain Flawless Skin in the Dead of Winter
Microbiome Imbalance in Gut May Lead to Acne
The Best Diet for Terrific Hair and Skin in Winter
Is Coconut The Key to Healthier Skin?
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Six Ways to Improve Your Skin
What You Need for a Skin-Friendly Diet
Five Simple Steps to Healthier Skin
Why Vaseline is Still An Excellent Choice for Skincare
Dermaplaning Myths Debunked
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Say Goodbye to Dry Skin
Yoga Can Help Your Skin
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Five Top Foods for Maintaining Healthy Skin
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How Can Ayurveda Principles Help Your Skin?
Five Foods with Top Beauty Benefits
How Hypertension Can Destroy Your Skin
Get Your Skin Ready for Summer
3D Printing Could Replace Skin Grafts
Adjusting Your Vitamin D Levels During The Summer
Using Orange Peels to Improve Your Skin
Carotenoids: The Secret to Healthy Skin
Your Greatest Ally in the Quest for Flawless Skin: Vitamin C
Japanese Skincare Routine May Outshine Popular Korean Routine
Six Ways to Help Your Skin Beat The Summer Heat
Consume Fruit for Radiant Skin
New Study Shows Importance of Key Enzyme in Skin Diseases
Bad Habits to Break for Great-Looking Skin
Papaya for Skin Care
Five Fun Ways to Get More Watermelon in Your Diet
Busting Skincare Myths
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Maple Leaf Extract May Prove The Next Anti-Wrinkle Miracle Ingredient
Does Your Skincare Routine Need a Cat-Face Towel? Absolutely!
Six Overnight Skincare Products for Daytime Beauty
How a 22-Year-Old Created an Empire of Vegan Skincare Products
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Cinnamon for Skin Health
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Nine Foods That Improve Skin
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