Getting a Safe Tan Using Sunblock?

I've heard various celebrities say that they obtain a safe tan by using sunblock regularly; it just takes them a longer time than someone who is using sun tan oil. Can you verify if this is true or not?

Doctor Answers 1

No such thing as a safe sun tan.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thanks for your question.

There's no such thing as a safe sun tan. Any tan that you get from ultraviolet rays (the sun, tanning bed), is harmful. Sunscreens and sunblocks block / deflect or absorb the UV, and simply prolong the time until you would burn. So while it does protect you, you still will absorb some of these rays, and if you wait until you are tan, then you are just simply using the sunblock to take longer to absorb the same amount of rays.

Simply put, getting a tan with or without a sunscreen represents the same harmful effect. It just takes you longer when you have a sunscreen. Avoid the sun as much as you can!

Hope this helps!

Beverly Hills Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.