10 Surprising Facts About Sunscreen And Tanning

Who doesn’t love it when summer comes around and Mr Sunshine pokes his face out? For many of us, it’s our cue to lather on our sunscreen and get a tan. But what are some things you don’t know about sunscreen? In this article, Beauty and Tips takes a look at 10 surprising facts about sunscreen and tanning.

Sunscreen is a summertime essential. It’s just as essential as your bikini, a vacation, and cocktails with the girls on a rooftop. It protects us from the sun’s powerful and harmful rays, reducing our risk of skin cancer while also making sure we don’t burn. However, for many the summer is a balancing act between applying adequate amounts of sunscreen and getting a tan. After all, what even is the point of spending time in the sun if we still come out of it looking like a milk bottle?! Sunscreen, though, is your saviour. All those times you got burnt by the sun and it ruined your vacation? You so wish you’d have applied sunscreen! In honour of the summertime, let’s take a look at 10 surprising facts about sunscreen and tanning.

Sunscreen Doesn’t Protect You From The Sun’s Heat

It’s a common misconception that sunscreen protects us from the sun’s heat. In actuality, it protects us from the sun’s bothersome UV rays. It’s these pesky UV rays – and not the heat – that cause burns, accelerates the ageing process, and initiates cancer. Naturally, this hasn’t always been known. Back in 1820, when physics was a fledgling science, an English scientist carried out one or two experiments. He covered one of his hands with a black cloth and exposed the other to the sun. The result? The exposed hand got sunburnt, while the other did not. Surprise, surprise. What was surprising, though, was that the temperature for the exposed hand was cooler than the temperature for the one that was covered up! It instigated more experiments to find out what it really was that caused sunburn.

Tanning Beds Are Just As Bad For Your Skin As The Sun’s UV Rays

It’s a question that’s been asked for a long time. Are tanning beds a safe way to get a tan? Or are they just as harmful for our skin as the sun’s UV rays? We wish we could say that tanning beds are super safe. Sadly, they can cause cancer just as much as the sun’s pesky UV rays. Use them at your peril.

Early Sunscreens Contained Tar

People in hot countries – especially those in the Middle East – have long been troubled by the searing sun. As such, they’ve been finding ways to protect themselves from its heat. Short of staying in their pyramids all day, they tried a few different props – umbrellas were used, as were hats. But none were sufficient, and people were still getting burnt and ageing really quickly! Eventually, it was decided that some sort of protective sunscreen must be concocted. These early ones contained some odd ingredients, such as tar and clay. As we moved into contemporary times, some brainiac decided to add horse chestnut extracts into the mix. Did it work? Well, it kind turned it into a thick paste that was hard to apply.

Skin Cancer Is On The Rise

Skin cancer is now one of the most common causes of cancer, and is claiming more and more victims each year. It’s hard to believe that such a stat can be true, especially now that sunscreen is more widely available than ever. Moreover, it’s not as though the sun’s UV rays have got stronger. However, it might have something to do with the rise in use of tanning beds, an industry that is now worth billions of dollars.

A Dark Skin Tone Isn’t An Excuse Not To Use Sunscreen

Think you don’t need to apply sunscreen because you have a darker tone? Think again. It doesn’t matter how dark your skin tone is, there is literally no excuse for not protecting your skin from the sun’s violent UV rays. According to the FDA, a darker skin tones rating of SPF 13.4 is not enough to protect you from suburb, premature ageing – and skin cancer. From now on, if you have darker skin and have been avoiding sunscreen, it’s time to start lathering it on yourself.

41 U.S. States Have Banned Indoor Tanning For Kids

Tanning beds are now known to be so dangerous, that forty-one states have moved to ban indoor tanning salons for children. This is further justified by the fact that the risk of skin cancer is almost 80% as high for those who tan indoors before they’re in their mid-thirties.

Sunscreen Isn’t Sweat-Proof

It’s a common question that people ask: “Is sunscreen sweat-proof?” We wish it was, as we always sweat after we’ve applied sunscreen. It’s inevitable when you’re spending time in the sunshine! Unfortunately, sunscreen isn’t sweat proof. It might be water-resistant, but it’s not waterproof either. This means that you should always carry your trusty bottle of sunscreen with you, because no matter how much you’ve already applied, you will need to apply more if you start to sweat. Annoying but necessary.

New Tanning Beds Are More Dangerous Than Old Ones

It’s hard to believe, but new tanning beds are even more dangerous than old ones.

Sunscreen Doesn’t Last Long

Sunscreen is effective – but only for a short period of time. For example, if you thought you could apply sunscreen in the morning and then spend an entire day in the sunshine without having to re-apply, you’re unfortunately incorrect. Sunscreen fades and it rubs off. But it also loses its potency after just two hours. If you’re planning to spend a few hours in the sunshine, take your bottle of sunshine with you and reapply every two hours.

A Million American Adults Visit Tanning Salons Each Day

Undaunted by the stats, millions of Americans continue to get under a tanning bed each day.

Stay happy!

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