It's a fact. The safest way to reduce your risk of skin cancer is not to tan at all.
Tanning both indoors and outdoors can be dangerous. While the bronzed look from tanning is often associated with good health, it is actually evidence of damage to your skin cells. Tanning damages your outermost layer of skin, speeds up the aging process and can lead to skin cancer.
If you do insist on heading out into the sun to tan, there are a number of precautions you can take.
The first is that you shouldn't spend too much time in the sun. To achieve that glowing bronzed look, you only need to spend about 15 minutes in the sun three times a week. This limited time frame allows you to receive benefits, like vitamin D production, while limiting the potential damage from prolonged exposure.
Even if you are planning to tan for a limited time, it is always a good idea to wear sunscreen. You can still achieve that healthy bronzed color while wearing a sunscreen with proper SPF protection.
When choosing sunscreen, it's important to find one that is broad-spectrum with an SPF rating of 30 or higher. This ensures protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
Make sure to apply the sunscreen at least 15 minutes before heading outdoors and reapply it at least every two hours.
Avoid Tanning Beds
Although tanning beds can help you achieved that bronzed look rather quickly, they are also much more likely to cause skin cancer or long-term damage to your skin.
Intense UV rays are applied directly to your body in a tanning bed, which can cause skin cancer, as well as inflammation, cataracts, eye cancer and other damage to your eyes.
Wear Protective Clothing
If you are going to tan outside, it's always a good idea to add an extra layer of protection with your clothing. Items such as wide-brimmed hats not only cover your face, but they help to protect certain areas that are easy to forget about like your ears and scalp.
Find a pair of sunglasses that are effective at blocking at least 99 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. This will help to protect your eyes from damage, cataracts or eye cancer while out in the sun for extended periods of time.
The only true way to protect yourself from the sun and still achieve that bronzed look is to get a spray tan or apply a self-tanning product.
You typically only need to apply self-tanner about once a week. If you notice your tan fading, you can apply it more often than once a week.
Pair With Sunscreen