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Summer’s here, which means you’re probably spending your weekends soaking up some sun and living in a swimsuit 24/7 (we’re jealous). While we’re all for getting that ‘just-got-back-from-Bali’ glow, you might want to think twice before tanning without sunscreen. 

The threat of sun exposure (especially in the thick of summer) is very real — from painful sunburn and premature aging, to eye damage and skin cancer. True enough, it’s estimated that 20 percent of Americans will develop skin cancer, and more than two people die of the disease every hour. As we’re spending more time outdoors this season, sun protection is more critical than ever. 


Can your skin tan with sunscreen? 

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so simple. The amount your skin tans depends on genetics, skin tone, skin health, sunscreen usage and so much more. Tanning is essentially your skin’s method of fighting the inflammation caused by sun damage. So in the process of tanning, your skin might produce more melanin than others in a given time frame, and vice versa. While we can’t tell you if your skin will tan as much as you'd like it to, you will definitely be prone to damage from UV rays, photoaging, and skin cancer without sun protection for face and body. The most reliable measure is to use an appropriate sunscreen. Other measures include stepping out on days with a low UV index, wearing a hat, wearing sunglasses and resting in the shade. But here’s a bit of good news for those looking to get sunkissed: it might still be possible to get a slight tan even with sunscreen on. However, the bottomline is that there is no amount of deliberate tanning that’s considered 100% safe. 

What kind of sunscreen should you use when under the sun for long? 

Dermatologists recommend using a broad spectrum sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 on all exposed body parts. Avoid that tanning lotion with SPF, as it’s probably not giving you enough protection.

It is also important to note that no sunscreen is capable of providing full protection. However, using a broad spectrum sunscreen with high SPF will provide you more protection. An SPF 30 will give you protection from 97% of sun and UV rays, and SPF 50 a whopping 98%. The difference between SPF 50 and 100 isn’t much, only 1%. What’s more important is to wear sunscreen properly and consistently. Yes, that means reapplying every two hours, or immediately after swimming or toweling (here are more tips on proper SPF use in the summer!).

Do you have any recommendations for a good body sunscreen?

You know we do. Our Oh My Bod! Sunscreen Lotion is a broad spectrum SPF 50 lotion made to protect your face + body, even when you go out tanning; The long lasting SPF 50 will protect you from 98% of the harmful sun and UV rays. This sunscreen is formulated to protect your dark scars from getting any darker and your tattoos from getting lighter. 

Aside from shielding you from nasty midday sun, it is even water- and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes. This makes it perfect for a day at the beach, water sports, and other outdoor activities. 

Will Oh My Bod! Sunscreen protect against harmful rays when going tanning?

If you do intend on sprawling on your beach towel for long, this is the best sunscreen for body to use while you do so. With its lightweight and fast-absorbing formula, it makes for a fuss-free daily sunscreen that’s actually comfortable to wear — on the beach, while getting coffee, at a picnic, or even just lounging by a window at home. Apply a generous amount 15-20 minutes before sun exposure, and don’t forget to reapply every 2 hours or right after swimming/sweating for maximum protection!

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