It just doesn’t make sense to use sunscreens daily, according to the Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA). Chemical sunscreen is an important product for outdoor sun care and sunburn prevention, but using chemical sunscreen appropriately is equally as important.
Double your protection Base Tan plus Sunscreen.
Would you use cough syrup daily to help you stay healthy? Of course you wouldn’t. So, why are people encouraged to use sunscreen every day, rain or shine, summer or winter, no matter how much time you’re spending outside?
It just doesn’t make sense, according to the Joint Canadian Tanning Association. JCTA Member Salons teach proper sunscreen usage as part of a total skin care regimen. Chemical sunscreen is an important product for outdoor sun care and sunburn prevention, but using chemical sunscreen appropriately is equally as important. Sunscreen is a chemical-based product like cough syrup — you use it only when you need it. Cough syrup is used when you are suppressing a cold, but daily use would be silly. Likewise, chemical sunscreen should only be used when sunburn is possible.
“As professional tanning salons, it’s our job to help clients with a complete skin care regimen, and this includes proper chemical sunscreen usage,” JCTA Executive Director Steve Gilroy says. “The golden rule is to never sunburn, so sunscreen should be used whenever burning is possible, but putting chemicals on your skin every day is counterproductive.”
Using chemical sunscreen every day, even when sunburn isn’t possible, isn’t a good idea for several reasons. For one, chemical sunscreen blocks your body’s ability to produce vitamin D, one of the most important hormones in your body. According to Vitamin D researchers, 90% of your vitamin D come from UVB light when it hits your skin. Plus, the chemicals found in most sunscreen products don’t just sit on top of your skin. These chemicals penetrate beyond your skin and gets into your body and bloodstream.
Here’s something else to consider: While many people make the natural assumption that using chemical sunscreens will prevent them from getting skin cancer, evidence of this relationship is inconclusive at best. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), “Every major public health authority – the FDA, National Cancer Institute and International Agency for Research on Cancer – has concluded that the available data do not support the assertion that sunscreens alone reduce the rate of skin cancer (FDA 2011a, IARC 2001b, NCI 2011).” Click here for more surprising facts about sunscreen, from the EWG.
One way to supplement and avoid excessive chemical sunscreen use is gradually developing a base tan, or what the JCTA likes to call “Nature’s Sunscreen.” The primary goal of every trained tanning professional is to teach sunburn prevention to every client. One benefit of indoor tanning is that trained operators can give a tanner controlled UV exposure to gradually develop this sunscreen while minimizing the risk of sunburn.
The value of a base tan, as millions of sunbed users know, is that it adds another layer to your sunburn protection arsenal – making chemical sunscreen worn outdoors for outings on sunny days even more effective at preventing sunburn. Click here for more information about base tans.
For further information on proper use of sunscreen, visit our sunbed information page.
The Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA) is a national non-profit organization created to increase understanding of the professional tanning industry’s scientifically supported position that regular moderate ultra-violet exposure from sunshine or sunbed in a non-burning fashion is part of a responsible lifestyle that recognizes both the inherent benefits and the manageable risks associated with ultraviolet light exposure.