17th May 2019
There is a misunderstanding in the UK, with many still believing getting a suntan is healthy.
Moreover, getting a base tan pre-holiday will help safely tan whilst away. The reality is there is no healthy way to tan, and exposure to UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer.
In fact, malignant melanoma rates have increased significantly in England over the past 35 years1. UK deaths from skin cancer are more prevalent than in Australia2 with malignant melanoma now the 5th most common cancer in the UK (2011), accounting for 4% of all new cases.3
Despite these damning statistics, many people will overlook the obvious health risks for a sun-tanned appearance.
One of the reasons people try to obtain a base tan is because they think this will stop them burning. The reality is that the best way to help prevent sunburn is to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with high SPF. You should then reapply every 2 hours (especially after swimming, sweating, exercise or towelling dry) and seek shade where possible.
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