Is a “Safe Tan” Possible?

By Heather Woolery-Lloyd

As summer approaches I always get this question from my patients. This can be a hard question to answer because most people get a little darker in the summer even if they are not trying to. During the summer, the days are longer and the sun’s rays are more intense. For this reason, even regular incidental sun exposure in the car and running errands can cause darker skin by the end of the season. This is almost unavoidable in certain climates like Miami even if you are wearing sunscreen. The real problem arises when people go and lay out at the beginning of summer to get a “base tan”. This definitely is not good for your skin…especially if you have uneven skin tone or brown patches on your skin. Chronic sun exposure makes hyperpigmentation worse and, of course, causes wrinkles. You should definitely wear sunscreen if you are going to spend the day outside, and this is especially important in the summer months. There is no such thing as a safe base tan.

The good news is that there are some fantastic self-tanners that can achieve that sun-kissed look without the risk. Two of my favorites are Jergens Natural Glow and Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel. Both of these self-tanners go on evenly and consistently win awards in their category from magazines like Allure. So choose a self tanner to if you want a tan this summer, and you won’t have to sacrifice your skin in the process.

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