should you get a tanDid you know that when you are under UV rays, you are causing DNA damage?  Tanning is the body’s defense against UV rays.  When you tan, your body is changing your melanin (skin pigment) in order to protect you.

I used to be told that if I just got a base-tan then I wouldn’t burn.  While being forced to get the base-tan, I kept burning.  Research now shows, “It’s clear that a tan induced by UV exposure plays a mini- mal role in protection against sunburn.”

New research even shows that the damage from the UV rays continue up to four hours after you leave the sun!

The part that isn’t as realized as skin cancer; the more tan you are, the longer you need to be in the sun to get the correct amount of vitamin D.  Fairer skinned people don’t need to be in the sun very long to get enough exposure to produce vitamin D.  If you go on vacation and your goal is to tan, you’re going to need to spend even more time in the sun when you get back home to get the same amount of vitamin D.  If you don’t you’ll become slightly vitamin D deficient.

I’m definitely not saying going in the sun is bad!  Sun is great, in moderation.  Just don’t aim to tan!

I used to be ashamed of my pale skin.  Now, I prefer being pale.  Tanned does not always mean ‘healthy glow’.  Appearances don’t show what’s really going on.


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