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Does Sunscreen Prevent Tanning?

woman applying sunscreen

So, you know how important sunscreen is to prevent skin damage from UV rays… but does sunscreen prevent you from tanning altogether? Is it possible to safely get a tan, and how is a tan affected by sunscreen?

Read on to learn all you need about sunscreen this summer (and all year round) to keep your skin shielded from the sun and still catch some rays.  

What Is Sunscreen?

Sunscreen is a barrier to protect the skin and a product that absorbs UV rays to keep the skin from being harmed or burned. Most chemical-based sunscreens are the ones that absorb the ultraviolet rays to prevent you from being burned.

On the other hand, physical-based sunscreens deflect and toss UV rays away from your skin. Some consider physical sunscreen a safer option.

Physical sunscreens are less likely to irritate the skin than chemical sunscreens, but both forms have been proven safe and effective. Many modern sun protection creams contain both sorts of chemicals. Urban Skin Rx® has designed sunscreens that are effective enough to protect your skin but safe enough so that you don’t have to worry.

Sunscreen used to be an item that you only took on picnic trips or days at the beach, but most skincare professionals recommend you wear sunscreen every day and incorporate it into your routine. Think of it as a step in your skincare lineup; thankfully, some sunscreens double as moisturizers or primers.  

Does Sunscreen Prevent You From Tanning?

The short answer is no, but sunscreen can prevent you from tanning to a certain degree. Since sunscreen absorbs the sun’s rays before they get to you, you may not get as deep of the natural, sun-kissed tan you were looking for.

You might have to lose the tan to gain a lot more! But, your skin will thank you in the long run for years. Sunscreen can help prevent drying, skin losing elasticity, skin aging and most importantly, skin cancer.

To take better care of your skin and avoid the harmful effects of sun damage, you can try alternative options to lying in the sun. There are so many different options for self-tanning these days, and it is a wonderful replacement for soaking up harmful ultraviolet rays out in the sun.

If you want to tan while wearing sunscreen, it’s important to understand what the SPF rating in sunscreens represents. SPF, or the “sun protection factor,” is a nonlinear rating given to any products meant to protect your skin from harmful UVB rays. For example, SPF 15 sunscreen (when applied correctly) will typically block about 93% of UVB rays hitting your skin, while SPF 50 blocks 98%.

That might sound impressive, but sweat, friction from clothes, swimming or time on the beach can cause sunscreen to wear off. That’s why water-resistant sunscreen is such a great option!

You can go for a tanning sunscreen, lotion or oil – but you risk burning or sun damage on your skin. On the other hand, if you want the best of both worlds, UVB protection while getting a nice bronze tan, you can try a sunscreen with a lower SPF number.

We tend to think SPF 30 is a good middle ground, protecting you, but not as low as SPF 15. However, any SPF is much better than none! Sunscreen Options at Urban Skin Rx® At Urban Skin Rx®, we have a few different sunscreen options! We take sun protection very seriously and want to make sure that your skin is protected. Sunscreen can protect your skin from aging or drying due to sun exposure.

As mentioned above, sunscreens can double as many other products these days! Check out our incredible sunscreens:

  • Complexion Protection Moisturizer with SPF 30 - This SPF and moisturizer combo featuring physical and chemical actives is the perfect everyday product. It’s lightweight but strong enough to protect your skin from harmful sun rays. This product does not clog your pores but keeps your skin nourished and hydrated. Applying Complexion Protection is a great last step before applying your makeup. Did we mention this product is also suitable for all skin types?

  • Shineblock™ Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30 - This moisturizer offers sun protection and has a matte finish specifically designed for oily skin. It is perfect for oily, blemish-prone skin if you want daily mineral-active sun protection that is mattifying and sheer. And since this product is non-nano, the particles are not small enough to absorb into the skin, making it safer overall.

  • Sheerglow™ Even Tone Daily Defense Mineral Moisturizer SPF 30 - Some mineral sunscreens leave a white cast like no other. But have no fear. This mineral moisturizer is sheer and known for its lovely glow to the skin! Plus, this product protects your skin while adding moisture all at the same time. And because it goes on sheer, it works well for many skin tones.

Each product works to protect your skin from the sun and is mindfully made with your health in mind.  

Questions? Let Us Know!

Do you have questions about our products, or which would be right for you? Then, please be sure to take our skin quiz, which is our way of learning all about you and helping you find the best skincare options!

On top of our skin quiz, we offer virtual consultations! Our Licensed Aestheticians are thrilled to provide expert advice so that you can navigate our products and learn more about what is ideal for your skin type, skin tone and skin texture.

In addition to our skin quiz and virtual consultations, feel free to contact us through phone, chat or email. We are more than happy to offer help and want to make sure you find what you need!

In Conclusion

Sunscreen keeps you from being completely exposed to the sun and absorbs a certain level of UV rays. This can result in being unable to tan the way you’d like. But, protecting your skin and saving it from serious sun damage is worth it. However, some alternatives will protect your skin and let you tan at the same!

One of the best options is self-tanning, and there are many options these days. You can also try a lower SPF and still get a tan. We also have wonderful sunscreen options that cover many skin issues and concerns all in one! You can find deep moisture, oil control or even a mineral sunscreen.

We are sure to have a product that works for everyone! If you need help deciding which product, we can help you decide. We take sun protection seriously, and we take skincare seriously too! So take our skin quiz or schedule a consultation today.

By: Ivey Rogers Aesthetician Educator & Community
Engagement Manager

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