Trying To Bag A 'Base Tan' Before Going Holiday? We've Got News For You

Step away from the sun bed, we repeat, step away from the sun bed.
AleksandarNakic via Getty Images

Passport? Check. Swimwear? Check. Beach towels? Check. Quick trip to the sunbeds before your travels? Not so fast.

According to research done by the American Academy of Dermatology, one in four adults believes that getting a “base tan” will prevent sunburn. This is a common misconception with people rushing to the sunbeds days before going abroad in order to prepare their skin for a week or two of intense sunshine.

This is no way to protect yourself against the sun, and, according to the NHS, there is actually no safe or healthy way to get a tan. Instead, keeping in mind that skin cancer is incredibly prevalent in the UK with 46 new cases being diagnosed every day, we should be prioritising sun protection as much as possible. According to dermatologist Nazanin Saedi, a base tan “increases your likelihood of developing not only skin cancer but wrinkles and brown spots.”

Risks Of Tanning Indoors and Sunbeds

Five things to keep in mind when it comes to indoor tanning are:

  1. Indoor tanning can increase your risk of skin cancer and the risk of developing it increases with every single use
  2. Tanning makes your skin age faster and can lead to a “leathery” look in later life which doesn’t happen to people who never tan
  3. You can’t get enough vitamin D from tanning beds
  4. Tanning can be addictive
  5. Quitting or never starting tanning can help you to live longer thanks to a reduced risk of developing skin cancers

Of course, hoping for a healthy glow in your holiday snaps is common and very understandable but instead of relying on dangerous indoor tanning methods, maybe use alternatives such as tanning lotions or even a gradual tanning body lotion for a subtle year-round glow without the risks of unprotected UV exposure.