The Myth of the Base Tan

Fact: A base tan does not protect you from the sun.

Tanned skin is damaged skin. A base tan further damages skin and increases your risk of skin cancer and premature aging by exposing you to increased UV radiation before your holiday.

A base tan provides a level of sun protection similar to using a sunscreen with SPF 3-5.1,2 This level of SPF will not adequately protect you from the sun. An SPF of 30 or higher is recommended for adequate sun protection.3


1. Gilchrest B, Eller M, Geller A, Yaar M. The pathogenisis of melanoma induced by ultraviolet radiation. N Engl J Med 1999; 340:1341-1348.

2. Agar N, Young AR. Melanogenesis: a photoprotective response to DNA damage? Mutat Res. 2005; 571(1-2): 121-32.

3. Canadian Dermatology Association. Sunscreen FAQ’s.