17 questions dermatologists have about tanning you want to ask

TOHow to protect young and aging skin from UV rays? Who is not allowed to sunbathe? What procedures should be done to get a more even tan? BeautyHack experts on risk factors, safe beach watches and baby products with SPF.

Which skin types are most sensitive to UV radiation?

It doesn’t matter if you are blonde or dark-skinned brunette – absolutely all skin types are subject to photoinduced skin aging: Celtic (very light skin with freckles or moles, red or blonde hair);

  • Nordic (dry pale skin, light brown or light brown hair); dark European (slightly dark skin and brown or black hair);
  • Mediterranean (dark skin, dark hair and eyes); Indonesian and African American (very dark skin color, dark hair and eyes).

Celtic and Nordic types are more vulnerable to the sun, as their skin is more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation, but the result is the same for all: hyperkeratosis, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and rosacea.

Blondes are more sensitive to the sun – they start to blush, which is a sign of an inflammatory reaction. And only then a golden tint of tan appears on their skin.

What should be the composition of sunscreens?

Products with SPF should be with a high degree of protection, but you also need to pay attention to the components. Quality sunscreens contain both physical and chemical filters.

But what shouldn’t be in your sunscreen is alcohol and parabens, but antioxidants are welcome. For owners of sensitive and dry skin, creamy textures are most suitable, and for oily skin, the non-comedogenicity of the product should be taken into account and a lighter formula in the form of an emulsion should be chosen.

What determines the persistence of tanning?

There is no concept of “long-lasting tanning” – as soon as your skin stops being exposed to ultraviolet radiation, melanin ceases to be produced, and the skin gradually returns to its natural shade. But the good news is that brunettes tend to last longer.

Who is not allowed to sunbathe?

It is not recommended to sunbathe for persons with an allergic reaction to the sun, as well as for patients taking various pharmaceutical preparations that cause photosensitivity.

Sunbathing is strictly contraindicated for people who are prone to the manifestation of herpes infection, and even more so for those suffering from oncological diseases. And if you have moles on your body, consult with a dermato-oncologist who will determine the degree of risk of exposure to the sun and give all the necessary recommendations.

Victoria Filimonova

Victoria Filimonova

Dermatologist, cosmetologist, trichologist, laser therapist

Does tanning improve acne?

No. When you arrive at the sea and are just starting to sunbathe, the illusion of clean, fresh skin can be created. But as soon as you get home, acne escalate. This is due to the fact that in the sun the local immunity decreases and the hyperplasia of the sebaceous glands increases (the epidermis thickens). Sebum has accumulated, and it is difficult for him to “get out” – and this is how an exacerbation begins.

Victoria Britko

Victoria Britko


Does light and dark skin need the same protection?

In dermatology, there is such a thing as erythemal time. It means the minimum dose of sun exposure, after which visible redness appears on the skin. This is an individual indicator. Its value depends on the phototypes, of which, according to the classification of the American dermatologist Fitzpatrick, there are five: 1 – skin that practically does not tan, often with freckles, characteristic of the owners of light eyes and hair; 2 – skin prone to burns, typical for people with light or dark blond hair and light eyes; 3 – well tanned skin, not prone to burns, typical for people with dark hair and dark eyes; 4 – the skin tans perfectly, does not burn, is not prone to the appearance of freckles; 5 – very dark skin, never sunburn – sun protection is at the genetic level.

If you are a blue-eyed blonde, most likely this is the first phototype in which there is a high risk of burns. In this case, you need a cream with the highest SPF level.

On dark skin, sunburns and age spots appear less often. This does not mean that it does not need to be protected. It is necessary, but the degree of protection may be lower.

Where is the intensity of the sun higher?

The sun “does not shine equally for everyone”! Its activity depends on the region. In areas closer to the equator, the rays fall at a right angle – their effect is especially dangerous and detrimental to the skin. There you need to use protection higher than the one you are used to using. The UV index in your region can be easily determined on the nesgori.ru website or using a special application for a smartphone. In Moscow, for example, it is quite low – about three. In Sydney, it is very high, ranging from eight to ten. There, in the daytime, it is better not to appear in the sun at all, even with maximum SPF protection.

Can I use sunscreen I bought last year?

Each cosmetic product has an expiration date. But for sunscreen filters, it is no more than a year. Check the expiration dates of all last year’s products. If they have expired, feel free to throw the leftovers into the trash can.

Elena Morozova

Elena Morozova

Dermatologist at the Maria Shirshakova clinic (@ doctor.elenam)

How does tanning affect skin condition?

In general, sunburn is a chronic inflammation of the layers of the dermis, which is a response to aggressive exposure to ultraviolet rays. Therefore, it is logical that it should be minimized. Sunburn provokes early skin aging. When exposed to ultraviolet light, the skin thickens, the skin pattern is enhanced. Also, one of the symptoms that you have rebuilt with a tan is dryness and a decrease in the tone of the dermis. But the most unpleasant moment is the increased risk of neoplasms.

Why don’t we sunbathe the same way in different places?

We have already said above that the activity of the sun depends on the region, and they cited Australia as an example. It is indeed a very revealing country where UV radiation is aggressive all year round. However, most of them are white-skinned people (type 1-4). Their skin has a low concentration of melanin, so it cannot fully fulfill the function of a filter and shield from ultraviolet rays. Therefore, Australians have a high likelihood of developing skin diseases.

How long can children be in the sun?

Children over three years old, like adults, can only be in the sun during safe hours (from 8.00 to 11.00 and 16.00 to 19.00).

It is highly undesirable for babies up to one year to be under the sun. The amount of melanin in their skin is negligible.

In the summer, I recommend using sunscreen for children as an essential part of their care. Consult your pediatrician when choosing a remedy. It must undergo clinical studies, not cause burning sensation in contact with the eyes, be free of parabens, fragrances and octocrylene (the component can cause severe allergic reactions). At the same time, the products must be resistant to sweat and sand – children on the beach are very active. For my patients, I recommend La Roche-Posay’s Dermo-Kids series.

How to sunbathe properly?

In the first sunny days, you need to sunbathe for 15-20 minutes. Perhaps, at first, the tan will not appear, but the skin will be competently prepared for the more intense sun exposure – the tan will lie more natural and beautiful. For this reason, many girls go to the solarium before resting.

When the skin is used to the sun, you can stay on the beach and sunbathe longer. But remember that tanning time should not exceed two hours, with breaks in the shade during safe hours.

Can I sunbathe during pregnancy?

Experts do not recommend sunbathing (and generally being in direct sunlight) during the first trimester of pregnancy. Any overheating can negatively affect the development of the child’s spinal cord.

If you are in position and have been in the sun for a long time, drink plenty of fluids and choose comfortable cotton clothing for rest.

What to do in order not to burn out?

The rules are very simple, but not everyone follows them. First, don’t sunbathe in the middle of the day during unsafe hours. Second, use SPF products… Third, wear wide-brimmed hats and light-colored cotton clothing.

If you want to get tanned, you don’t have to spend all your time in the sun. Even in the shade, you can get a beautiful tan.

How to prolong tanning life?

Prepare for your vacation in advance. Do almond peeling (can be done all year round), a course of biorevitalization or plasma therapy (prevention of active skin lesions). Repeat one of the last courses 3-4 weeks after sunburn.

Also, before the trip, you can undergo a tanning potentiation and photoaging prevention program from the Natinuel brand – a long-lasting tan is guaranteed! Another specialized program from the brand – Poli Peel + Hydra Intensity – is necessary to normalize the hydrolipid layer. On the contrary, it can be done after rest to calm the skin.

Important: all procedures must be completed 2-3 weeks before the trip to the sun.

Regular hydration of the skin after sun exposure will prolong the tan. Choose only professional brands. For example, quality antioxidant products from SkinCeuticals, Restoracalm Moisturizer from Zein Obagi.

How to protect aging skin from UV rays?

It requires additional protection, since the rays are stronger, destroying collagen fibers, of which there are not many. This can lead to the formation of age spots, flabbiness. Choose sun protection according to the type of aging skin, pay attention to the components that enhance the effect of the cream on the skin: antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, moisturizing complexes.

Can BB creams be used on vacation? Do they harm the skin while tanning?

These are good remedies. The main thing is that they contain the correct pharmaceutical ingredients. For example, SkinCeuticals has a great BB cream with mineral filters and a toning effect that adjusts to skin tone – Face Cream. I focus precisely on the importance of the composition of professional products, because products from the mass market often clog pores, lay down in a dense opaque layer and can provoke rashes.