Safe Tanning Tips

Understanding the Risks of Tanning

Understanding the risks of tanning is essential for maintaining healthy skin and preventing skin cancer. Tanning, whether through sun exposure or artificial methods like tanning beds, exposes the skin to harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This can lead to a range of negative effects, from premature aging to life-threatening skin cancer.

One of the most common cancers in those under 30, especially women, is melanoma. This dangerous form of skin cancer is caused by UV radiation from the sun and tanning lamps and beds. In fact, just one artificial UV tanning session can increase skin cancer risk by 20%, with each additional session raising the risk by another 2%.

Tanning beds are particularly hazardous, producing 3.7-15.0 times more UVA radiation than the sun. This excessive exposure can result in early aging, wrinkles, and skin blotches. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies tanning beds as a Group 1 carcinogen, meaning they are a known cause of cancer in humans.


Sunburns during childhood and adolescence can also have lasting consequences, increasing the risk of melanoma in adulthood by up to 80%. Babies and young children have thinner and more sensitive skin, making them more vulnerable to the damaging effects of UV radiation.

Despite these risks, tanning injections and nasal sprays have gained popularity as alternatives to traditional tanning methods. However, these products are no less dangerous and should be avoided.

To protect young people from the long-term consequences of tanning, Ohio lawmakers introduced House Bill 169, which aims to ban anyone under 18 from using a tanning booth. Currently, children can use a tanning bed with parental permission and written consent.

In conclusion, understanding the risks of tanning is crucial for making informed decisions about skin health. By avoiding tanning beds, sunburns, and other harmful practices, individuals can reduce their risk of skin cancer and maintain healthy, youthful skin.

Choosing the Right Sunscreen

When it comes to safe tanning, choosing the right sunscreen is crucial. Sunscreen not only protects your skin from harmful UV rays but also helps prevent premature aging and skin cancer. To make an informed decision, consider the following factors.

Know Your Sunscreen Types

There are two main types of sunscreens: chemical and mineral. Chemical sunscreens, containing ingredients like avobenzone and octocrylene, absorb UV light and convert it into heat. On the other hand, mineral sunscreens block and reflect UV light, making them a better choice for sensitive skin. The Skin Cancer Foundation provides more information on different sunscreen types.

Choose Broad-Spectrum Protection

Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Ensure it has an SPF of at least 15-30, as recommended by dermatologists. The higher the SPF, the better the protection.


Apply Sunscreen Correctly

Use the two-finger rule for accurate application. Squeeze a line of sunscreen along the length of your index and middle fingers, then spread it evenly on your skin. Reapply every two hours, after swimming or sweating, for optimal protection.

Consider Your Skin Type

Everyone’s skin is unique, so choose a sunscreen that suits your needs. People with sensitive skin may prefer mineral sunscreens, while those with darker skin tones might opt for chemical sunscreens for a better finish.

Check Expiration Dates

Sunscreen has a shelf life, so use it within one year of purchase. Expired sunscreen may not provide adequate protection.

Don’t Forget Sunglasses

Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and glare with sunglasses offering the highest level of UVA/UVB protection. Wraparound sunglasses are ideal for better coverage.

Remember, even on cloudy days, UV rays can penetrate clouds, making it essential to wear sunscreen and sunglasses. By selecting the right sunscreen and following these tips, you can enjoy a safer tanning experience while minimizing the risks associated with sun exposure.

Sunless Tanning Options

Sunless tanning has gained popularity as a safer alternative to traditional sun exposure, with a market worth over $1 billion. People are turning to various products such as lotions, mousse, drops, and foam to achieve a tan without risking skin damage or cancer.

Embracing Vegan and Cruelty-Free Options

As environmental and animal welfare concerns grow, vegan and cruelty-free self-tanning options are becoming more popular. Brands like Sun Bum, Botanic Tree, Tanologist, and Coco & Eve offer products that use natural and organic ingredients, free from parabens, sulfates, and gluten.

Safe Tanning During Pregnancy

Self-tanning is considered safe throughout pregnancy, as the active ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is not well-absorbed by the body. Pregnant women should avoid spray tans but can use lotions, gels, or mousse formulas as a healthy alternative to traditional tanning methods.


Achieving a Flawless Tan

To get an even tan, exfoliate and moisturize your skin before applying self-tanner. Use a tanning glove or mitt for a streak-free application. Brands like Luna Bronze, a female-founded, cruelty-free, and vegan self-tanning brand, offer award-winning formulas that prioritize skin health.

Hollywood tan artist Isabel Alysa recommends her Dolce Self-Tanning Mist for a red carpet-ready glow. She advises prepping the skin 24 hours prior to tanning for the best results.

Customizable Tanning Options

Many self-tanning brands now offer customizable options, allowing users to control the level of darkness and avoid an unnatural orange tone. Remember to wear sun protection when using self-tanners, as they do not provide UV protection.

In summary, sunless tanning is a safer and more responsible way to achieve a bronzed look. By choosing vegan, cruelty-free, and customizable options, you can enjoy a beautiful tan without compromising your skin’s health or the environment.

Tanning Safely in the Sun

Tanning outdoors can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, but it’s essential to take precautions to minimize risks and protect your skin. By following these simple tips, you can safely enjoy the sun while maintaining healthy skin.

Stay Hydrated and Prepared

Drinking plenty of water is crucial for regulating body temperature and avoiding heat exhaustion. Keep a first-aid kit on-hand for any injuries during outdoor activities, and learn CPR for emergency situations.

Choose the Right Sunscreen

Using sunscreen with at least SPF 30 is essential to block 97% of UVB rays and prevent skin damage and cancer. Opt for broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are safe and effective ingredients to look for in sunscreens.

Protective Clothing and Accessories

Wearing protective clothing, such as long sleeves and pants, can help shield your skin from harmful UV radiation. Additionally, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can protect your face and eyes from sun damage.

Avoid Peak Sun Hours

The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.


, so it’s best to avoid sun exposure during these hours. If you must be outside, seek shade and take breaks indoors to minimize your risk of sunburn and skin damage.

Know Your Limits

Remember that a single incident of blistering sunburn in childhood doubles the risk of developing skin cancer. Be mindful of your skin’s sensitivity and avoid overexposure to the sun. Just 15 minutes of daylight exposure is enough for necessary vitamin D levels.

Say No to Tanning Beds

Tanning beds and sunbeds increase the risk of skin cancer and should be avoided. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70. Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, will be diagnosed in over 97,600 new cases in the US in 2023.

By following these safe tanning tips, you can enjoy the sun while minimizing risks to your skin. Remember to stay hydrated, use sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and avoid peak sun hours to maintain healthy and beautiful skin.

Aftercare for Tanned Skin

After a day of soaking up the sun, it’s essential to take proper care of your tanned skin. Proper aftercare not only helps maintain your tan but also keeps your skin healthy and glowing.

Hydrate Your Skin

One of the most important steps in tanning aftercare is to keep your skin hydrated. High temperatures, humidity, and UV rays can take a toll on your skin’s health. Use a gentle body wash like Olay Hyaluronic Body Wash to cleanse your skin without stripping it of its natural moisture. Follow up with a nourishing lotion, such as Olay Hyaluronic Body Lotion, which penetrates 10 surface layers deep to provide optimal hydration.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water throughout the day is essential for maintaining skin health.


Consuming foods high in electrolytes, like coconut water, can also help keep your skin hydrated.

Protect Your Skin

Even after achieving your desired tan, it’s crucial to continue protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily to shield your skin from further damage.

Adapt Your Skincare Routine

Summer weather can cause skin problems, so it’s important to maintain an effective skincare routine. Tailor your routine to your skin type and concerns, and don’t forget to cleanse and nourish your skin regularly.

Get Adequate Rest

Adequate rest and self-care rituals play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin. Consider using a silk sleep mask to prevent friction and creases on your face while also blocking out light for better sleep.

Eat a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants can help combat the effects of free radicals and provide essential vitamins and minerals for healthy-looking skin.

By following these aftercare tips, you can enjoy your sun-kissed glow while keeping your skin healthy and radiant. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so take the necessary steps to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

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