While the tanning industry has long argued that a ‘base tan” achieved gradually over time will provide protection from sunburn, more and more evidence is finding that’s just not true.
The World Health Organization argues that the UVA rays used in indoor tanning salons penetrate the skin deeper and can still contribute to skin cancer. There is also no evidence to support claims that UV exposure from tanning beds is any less harmful than UV exposure from the sun. It’s estimated that a ‘base tan’ achieved from tanning indoors offers protection that’s roughly equivalent to a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of just 2-3. That’s significantly less than the recommended SPF of at least 30.
According to the latest research, using an indoor tanning bed increases the risk of melanoma skin cancer by 74 percent. This research is finding a dramatic rise in skin cancer among young adults (under the age of 40), and in particular young women, researchers believe that the use of indoor tanning beds is largely to blame.
Please remember any tan is sun-damaged! Sun damage is one of the biggest causes of aging of the skin and skin cancer. There are safe spray tans you can purchase if you have to have the tan look. Just stay out of the sun, even in winter and cloudy days. The UVA and UVB rays are still there!