11 Tanning Myths Debunked

Woman applying sunscreen.

We believe in safe and smart tanning. It's time to debunk all of those crazy tanning myths and start tanning safely. (We are looking at you Jersey Shore cast.) Let’s get one thing clear, WE DID NOT MAKE THESE MYTHS UP. People believe this stuff. So don’t sweat it if you are flabbergasted after reading this article. Your summer of healthy tanning can start today.

Tanning beds are safer than outdoor tanning.

Seriously? Indoor tanning is more associated with melanoma than sunburns. 

If you get a base tan before vacation then you are completely free from skin damage.

You may be less likely to get burnt, but your skin is at the same risk.

You can’t get sunburn on an overcast or cold day.

Break out the sunscreen and start rubbing. Clouds only reduce UV rays by up to 20%. And don’t let the cold weather fool you.

More: Promote Tanning Alternatives


People with dark skin don’t need to worry about damaging their skin.

Um, do dark people not have skin? They aren’t as likely to develop skin cancer, but it can still happen.

Tanning doesn’t cause premature aging.

No protection= gross skin. UV exposer over time causes wrinkles and a leather (jacket) look. 

Tanning is healthy because it protects the body from sunburn.

What!? Having a tan is like having SPF 4 sunscreen on. Since SPF 15 is the recommended usage, it just doesn’t add up.

Water is basically like sunblock.

Reality check: Water increases UV ray exposure.

My sunscreen is waterproof so there is no need to reapply.

Despite the label, sunscreen can only withstand the sun for a few hours. 

I have to burn to get tan.

Tanning happens because the damaged cells on the top layer of your skin eventually peels, letting new skin come in. That doesn’t sound very safe…

Wearing a cotton T-shirt will protect my skin.

Cotton t-shirts only provide SPF 6 protection. When the shirt gets wet, the protection goes down to SPF 3.

Tanning is a great way to get vitamin D.

The best way to get vitamin D is through diet and supplements, not tanning.



Health Guidance

Wed MD

Healthy Skin Portal