It is not always possible to combine sun and healthy skin, but it’s still possible. We must remember that the pleasure of tanning is associated with risk of melanoma (skin cancer) and, therefore, must be done under moderate and integral protection. In the United States, one person dies every hour of skin cancer!

Here are Four Possible Solutions

1. Change your perception of tanning and stop wanting a tan at all costs.

It is wrong to think that a tan is “healthy.” There was a time before when Coco Chanel created the fashion for tanning, where it was not at all associated with beauty. On the contrary, a fair complexion was one which we all wanted. Fortunately, in recent years, there has been a reversal of the pendulum. Fair complexion (think Nicole Kidman) has regained its rank.

The advantage to people who prefer light skin? They do not damage their skin with sun exposure, which will result in a skin staying younger longer, so a true healthy complexion. Remember that whenever you go out without protection, you increase your risk of developing melanoma, even if you do not tan a bit. If you insist on having a tanned skin, use a sunless tanner, the result is the same.

2. Do not ignore the recommendations of your dermatologist or esthetician after a treatment.

Some treatments such as microdermabrasion and peels remove the first layer of the skin to help it recover. However, during this period, your skin is more vulnerable and thus more susceptible to exposure. You must therefore follow to the letter the recommendations of your professional and completely avoid sun exposure during a certain period (which depends on the treatment received).

For example, in the case of non-invasive treatments such as microdermabrasion and glycolic acid peels wait at least a week before exposure (same duration for laser hair removal). When you must go outside, apply sunscreen and wear a top hat (it’s not good for children only).If you do not follow these recommendations, you are likely to damage your skin, making it more dangerous is it will not look very pretty. After treatment, ask questions and apply the recommendations.

3. Know the truth about UVA and UVB.

We have long since believed that only UVB rays were dangerous, and they are solely responsible for sunburn and burns, but UVA rays are not harmless either. Like UVB, they are also responsible for premature aging of the skin – spots of depigmentation or hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, roughness and loss of elasticity – while increasing the risk of skin cancer. Moreover, as UVA has no immediate visible effect, contrary to UVB, which causes sunburn on the same day; their effects are visible in long-term, maybe 10 or 20 years later. Then it is a little too late to react.

Another problem: contrary to UVB, UVA rays penetrate through the windows. Imagine the amount of UVA that can attack you without you noticing you while you’re in your car, each and every day of the year! Protect yourself when you travel for more than 20 minutes and do not forget to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses. Since 2007, most sunscreens which are available in the market contain UVA protection, such as Avobenzone, Octocrylene, Oxybenzone and more recently Mexoryl, but check the label because unfortunately most of them do not contain all. Beware of slogans such as “broad solar spectrum” and sometimes they do not contain that much protection, but only to UVB. Buy only products indicating UVA-UVB.

4. Understand the sun protection factor (SPF) index and learn how to properly apply the product.

A lotion with an index of 10 will let you stay in the sun without burning 10 times longer than you would without protection. Protection of 15 SPF, and you can therefore stay out in the sun 15 times longer. And if you normally stay 10 minutes without a blush, a protection of 30 you would let you stay out without burning for 300 minutes.

Unfortunately, this is only a theory because we all know someone who, despite an SPF 30 and far from having spent 300 minutes in the sun ended up with sunburn! The problem is not in the product but the application of it. Please apply the sunscreen generously on your skin, and anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes before going in the sun.