TUCSON, Ariz. - True or false: Is a base tan is a good way to prevent sunburn? False! Having a suntan does next to nothing when it comes to protecting your skin.
“A tan is actually a sign of skin damage," says Consumer Reports Health Editor, Trisha Calvo. "The sunlight can injure the DNA in skin cells, and that causes them to darken to prevent further damage. However, a base tan will give you far less protection than using sunscreen.”
A better way to protect your skin is to practice safe sun strategies.
“It’s always a good idea to cover up with sun-protective clothing and a hat," says Calvo. "And always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher on exposed skin. Be sure to apply it 15 minutes before you go outside, and every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily.”
Two of CR’s top best buy sunscreens are, Equate Walmart Ultra Lotion SPF 50 and Trader Joe’s Spray SPF 50-plus.