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Causes of Aging Skin: Tanning 101


tanning 101

Do you love to get a “healthy” glow from the sun? Do you think a little color is good for your skin? It turns out there’s nothing healthy about a tan (even a “base tan”). The sun is one of the biggest causes of aging skin, and you damage your skin every time you leave yourself unprotected. Keep reading to learn Tanning 101 from the skin care professionals.

The sun is arguably the biggest “skin sin” due to the fact that a whopping 90% of visible age signs are caused by UV damage (1). Even if you don’t frequent the beach and aren’t a sun worshipper, chances are you still put yourself at risk without realizing it.

Two thirds of all sun damage is incidental (2). That means the sun is damaging your skin every day when you run errands, commute to work, walk the dog, workout, and more.  Even when you’re indoors or in your car, you’re still at risk because UV rays can penetrate windows.


How the sun causes your skin to age

  • Repeated UV exposure breaks down collagen and stunts new collagen synthesis. This leads to sagging skin, wrinkles, and fine lines.
  • When skin is exposed to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, it triggers excess melanin production as a response to injury. This causes hyperpigmentation (age spots), which lead to an aged appearance.
  • Prolonged UV exposure causes dehydration, which worsens and emphasizes lines and wrinkles.


Tanning 101: The truth about UV exposure

  • A base tan – or any tan – is an injury response in the skin. It’s the skin’s way of telling you it’s been damaged. “There is no such thing as a safe or protective tan; any tan at all is a sign of skin damage.” – Debi Williams, Licensed esthetician, Image Is… Salon
  • Despite the common myth, tanning does not help clear breakouts or dry out oily skin. Your skin may temporarily dry up, but it will lead to a spike in oil production (and thus, breakouts) as a defense mechanism.
  • You need to wear sunscreen every day – even on cloudy days. About 80% of UV rays can pass through the clouds, so don’t fool yourself (3). Stay protected and wear a broad spectrum sunscreen.
  • You are exposed to harmful UV rays more often than you think. Like we mentioned above, everyday activities cause the majority of sun damage. If you don’t need a flashlight to see, then you need sunscreen.
  • Not only does the sun cause premature aging, but it puts you at risk for skin cancer as well. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed in the United States annually (4).


How to protect yourself

The biggest rule of Tanning 101: if you want healthy skin, don’t tan. Always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen, like the ones below to keep your skin youthful and protected.

  • RayDefense: with an SPF of 30, RayDefense provides protection for an active, outdoor lifestyle. If you like to jog outside, garden, or any activity that puts you in the sun, apply this sunscreen.
  • SPF 50 FaceScreen: with an SPF of 50, it has maximum protection packed with anti-aging benefits. In fact, the beauty editors at Dr. Oz’s named it “The Best Anti-Aging Sunscreen.” SPF 50 FaceScreen will not only protect against prolonged exposure, but also improves the appearance of lines, winkles and the feel of firmness.


If you have any questions or comments about the sun or Tanning 101, sign up for our newsletter here or comment below!


  1. Source:
  2. Source: Sun Safety Alliance
  3. Source: The American Academy of Dermatology
  4. Source:


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