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There are many of us who gear up for a tropical or beach holiday by trying to get a base tan before heading off. The unfortunate truth though, is that working up to that base tan will only offer up protection equivalent to a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of between 2 and 4. An SPF 2 will only block about 50% of the UVB rays; hardly anything at all when you consider the damage to your skin obtained by tanning. And even with a tan, you can still burn.

Even worse, is that many individuals get a base tan by going to a tanning booth, one of the worst ways you can expose yourself to UV rays. Tanning booths often calibrate their equipment to deliver more than 2 to 3 times the amount of UVA rays than can be obtained from exposing skin to the sun. Excessive exposure to UVA rays not only increases your chances of developing skin cancer, but can also cause photo aging leading to wrinkles, changes in skin texture and tone as well as age spots.  

The best advice?
Follow good sun practice:
• Cover up with sun protective clothing, a hat and sunglasses
• Seek shade when possible
• Avoid exposure during the peak hours of 10am and 4 pm, when the sun's rays are most intense.
• Wear a broad spectrum UVA/UVB photostable sunscreen as found in the [Link Removed] range of sunscreens.

And if you still want a bronzed glow, then do it safely. Opt for a self-tanning bronzer like [Link Removed] 

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed] 

Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Daisy Shkolnik wrote Jul 24, 2008
    • I always like the idea of having a “base tan” however, I have never had the time nor the patience to either lay out or go to a tanning salon to develop one. Although I love getting color, and I tan rather than burn, I think its very important to have good sun practices in order to ensure that I have healthy skin today and in the future as well.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Jul 25, 2008
    • So true. UV rays are responsible for between 80-90% of skin aging and can contribute to skin cancers. We do need UV rays to produce Vitamin D, but as little as 15-20 minutes unprotected exposure is adequate.  


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