Tanning myths >

Myth: A tan is healthy
The Truth: A lot of people equate tanning with a healthy lifestyle, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, a sunburn damages your immune system, making you more likely to catch an infectious illness or disease.

Even if you never burn, a tan is a telltale sign that you’re causing permanent damage to your skin. Regular tanning leads to premature aging: wrinkles, saggy and leathery skin, and ugly age spots and discolouration. It also increases your risk of developing skin cancer, which can be deadly.

If you really want to be the picture of health, take care of yourself and avoid UV exposure!

Myth: I need to spend time in the sun to get enough Vitamin D
The Truth: Vitamin D is important for building strong bones and muscles. The sun is a source of Vitamin D. However, most people get a sufficient amount from food and from safe sun exposure. To get your daily dose, simply drink 500mL (two cups) of milk or fortified soy beverages, or take a Vitamin D supplement of 500-1000 IU.

Myth: Using tanning beds is a safer way to tan
The Truth: All UV light, whether from tanning beds or natural sunlight, can cause sunburn. It also suppresses the immune system, causes skin cell damage and premature aging, and can cause cancer.

In fact, sun lamps can produce as much as three to eight times more UVA light than the sun produces at noon in the summer. UVA penetrates deeply into the skin and causes premature aging.

Myth: I only need to use sunscreen when it’s hot and sunny outside
The Truth: UV radiation carries no heat, meaning that you can be exposed to a lot of UV even if it’s a cool or cloudy day. You should protect yourself from early spring right through to the fall.

And don’t forget that you can get a nasty sunburn in the winter. Fresh snow and ice can reflect up to 85% of UV radiation. Also, the intensity of the sun’s rays increase by 10% for every 1,000 metres of altitude. Always protect your skin before hitting the slopes.

Myth: Sunscreen is all the protection I need
The Truth: Sunscreen can’t protect you on its own, because it can’t block out all the UV radiation the sun produces. This is the reason why your skin can become tanned even if you’re wearing sunscreen.

In direct sunlight, wearing sun smart clothing protects you better than sunscreen. Use sunscreen to give you added protection from the sun.