As the temperature rises, you may be tempted to go out without sun protection. Some of us love the warm sun rays on their skin, and others just love the look of a little bronzed glow. But with society becoming well versed in the risks of aging, wrinkles and cancer that come along tanning, the focus has moved to how tan in 'healthy way' a.k.a through fabricated methods that don't require UV radiation such as tinted SPF's and bronzed lotions. So if you've found yourself wondering 'will I still tan if I wear sunscreen?', you're not alone, and we're here to answer.
Can you Tan with Sunscreen on?
If applied and reapplied properly, No. And here's why.
There are two different types of tanning which are essentially your body's own SPF mechanism. Wearing a sunscreen blocks out the stimulus that causes the reaction (UV radiation) and thus prevents the need to produce a darker pigment for protection.
Immediate Pigment Darkening -
Occurs immediately after UV exposure via the body distributing pigment that already exists.
Delayed Pigment Darkening -
Occurs 2 - 3 days after UVB exposure if your skin cell DNA has been damaged.
Ultimately, both tan types are occur via UV radiation, and exist as your skins way of protecting you from burning. It either makes new melanin pigment or re-uses existing pigment and spreads it throughout the living layer of your skin - giving you slight sun protection but at the cost of damaging your skin DNA. The skin's ability to tolerate sun exposure differs from person to person, and is determined by how much pigment your skin can create and how quickly.
Broad spectrum protection sunscreen like Super Sun SPF50 directly interferes with this process by shielding out both the UVA and UVB rays that cause the skin to react via tanning. A sunscreen that isn't broad spectrum wont protect you from UVA radiation, so to ensure the integrity of your skin's DNA, a broad spectrum labelled sunscreen is essential.
How do I Apply my Sunscreen Correctly?
Always follow the instructions on your product. Especially the line about reapplication. It's a step many forget, but one that is essential to constant and consistent protection.
Along with the rest of your body, sunscreen should be applied on the face, ears, neck and décolletage. Chemical sunscreens need approximately 20 minutes after application before being effective, but mineral sunscreens will protect you immediately.
Now all you have to do is ensure your reapplying every 2-3 hours, and you're ready to enjoy the sun without damage!