May happens to be Melanoma Awareness Month, which happens to be a movement to spread awareness about skin cancer and the possible dangers that it can pose to your body!
With the height of summer just around the corner and May long weekend coming up fast, we all know that tanning is going to be at its peak. We always used to roll our eyes at our moms when they nag us about putting sunscreen on, and whisper about the rumours of not actually having to wear sunscreen all the time.
But are any of those tanning myths true? Is the sun really that bad for you? And what do you actually need to know before you go off to enjoy your time in the sun (or a tanning bed)?
With all of these questions rolling around your brain, we’re here for you to debunk some of the tanning myths and rumours you might have heard, and to give you some straight facts to help guide your tanning process in the summer.
1. Tanning at a salon is safer than the sun.
Nope. Even though there’s a controlled dose of radiation from the solar lamps, it’s still a really high dose! Don’t let the movies fool you: you can definitely still get bad radiation from a tanning salon, and it still can definitely damage your skin the way the sun does.
Actually, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you might be getting up to 12 times the UVA ray annual dose from a tanning bed than the sun. Which is a whole hell of a lot, by the way.
2. When it’s cloudy, you don’t have to wear sunscreen.
No matter how gloomy it looks outside, you still have to wear sunscreen! Clouds only filter out 20 percent of UV rays, meaning you’re getting almost the same amount of sun exposure than you would be laying in the direct sun.
So even though it doesn’t look it or feel it, that leaves you with 80 percent. Put that sunscreen on, girl!
3. A base tan can protect you from getting sunburned.
There’s no such thing as a safe or protected tan! You’re getting exposure from a literal star. Slap on some SPF no matter how dark you get, and stop bragging about it! Be sure to get all of your areas for an even tan though, if you know what we mean.
4. You only have to apply sunscreen once.
Hell to the no, sis! You definitely have to apply sunscreen more than once, especially if you’re sitting out in the sun and start to sweat, or decide to take a dip (if you have a pool option, that is).
Preferably, you should apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before going out into the sun, and every two hours after you started tanning, even if you think that you’re okay. There’s literally no harm in being on the cautious side, and you’ll still get a tan if you do it properly.
5. The higher the SPF, the better.
This is a really common mistake, because it’s only logical to think that SPF 30 will be twice as protective as SPF 15.
But the thing is: no matter how high of a SPF you have, no sunscreen is going to totally, 100 percent protect your skin from a burn. SPF 30 is typically recommended, so don’t waste your money on a SPF 50 sunscreen or above if you don’t have to. But keep in mind this is about tanning — put on a high SPF if you’ll be in the sun all day!