Everyone knows that sunscreen is essential to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Not wearing sunscreen increases your risk of getting burnt and developing skin cancer. But if sunscreen acts as a protective barrier between your skin and the sun, how can you get a tan with sunscreen? And if you wear fake tan to mask your pasty skin in the meantime, will that impact your chances of getting the real deal?
Can you tan with sunscreen?
You can tan while wearing sunscreen, but there is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan.
Don’t wear less sunscreen or choose a cream with a lower SPF in order to tan.
The SPF number refers to the time it would take for your skin to burn without wearing sunscreen.
For example, SPF 50 means your skin would take 50 times longer to burn while wearing the cream than it would if left unprotected, as long as you wear the right amount and apply it correctly.
The UVB gap is how you can still get a tan while wearing sunscreen.
The SPF isn’t just about burning, it also lets you know how much UVB can penetrate the skin while wearing the sunscreen,
About three percent of UVB rays can get through SPF30 and two percent with SPF, so you’re only slightly more likely to get a tan with SPF30 but you’re more likely to burn if you don’t apply it regularly enough.
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Dermatologists recommend SPF30 or higher every single day, even when you’re not on holiday.
Higher SPF such as SPF50 and SPF100 are meant for days where you’re in direct sunlight for long periods of time.
You can tan slightly through both of these, but you’ll still need to reapply it frequently.
Don’t forget that an intentional tan is a sign of damaged skin and increasing your risk of skin cancer isn’t glamorous!
Slap on some fake tan before you get your pale legs out this summer and slather on the SPF on top of that, no one will know!
You should never go out in the sun with fake tan on but no sunscreen because you will damage your skin and sunscreen doesn’t prevent you from tanning.
Some fake tans have SPF in their formula, but you shouldn’t rely on this to protect your skin.
The Amanda Harrington site says: “If the tan has SPF in it, it is normally a small amount.
“It is always necessary to top up with an oil-free SPF. Make sure you have washed off your tan’s guide colour before applying any SPF.
“If you feel like your tan is fading due to the SPF, use a gradual tanner to keep that golden glow alive!”
So what SPF should you wear on top of your tan to ensure your fake tan stays intact while you try and catch a real one?
The advice reads: “In order to transition from a sunless tan to a real tan, we would suggest that you wear an oil-free/mineral-based SPF such as Heliocare when you’re exposing your skin to sunlight.
“This will protect your skin and allow it the chance to catch a natural tan.
“The biggest myth is that wearing SPF stops your natural tanning habits altogether- it may take a little longer to see the bronze, but your skin’s health is protected which is key.”