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Alright guys, the question here pretty much speaks for itself, LOL! So basically, I do not want skin cancer or to increase my risk of getting skin cancer by risking a sun burn. I'm going on vacation and I want to still enjoy the sun, and if at all possible I actually do want a very nice natural tan.

My question is basically if I wear SPF 50 sunscreen for max protection from UVA and also use a broad spectrum sunscreen for UVB as well, yeah, can I still get a nice natural tan or are those two absolutely incompatible?

Thank you in advance.

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The benefits of that high a sun protection factor are, in fact, hotly debated. You can absolutely still tan when you wear a sunscreen, but one of the tricks is finding the right SPF level for your skin. For example, people with skin that does not burn that easily can get away with using SPF 20. The deal is that you got to be strict about reapplying that SPF 20 every two hours without exception though. If you have skin that burns more easily try SPF 50. It also depends on your skintone as well. However, you can still tan with sunscreen so don't worry.
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478 posts

Hey,

Well, I can't get a suntan even if I do not wear a sunscreen at all, and no, not even when I use those "fast tan" packages. (Which I do not do any more but I did try them in the past when I was younger.) In fact, no matter how long I spend in the sun, I do not tan. I very rarely get sunburn either, but if I do, it is just that followed by back to normal, no tan no nothing.

However, those people lucky enough to be able to tan easily will still tan, more gradually, when they use suntan. Safer than that is using a good self tanner, however.

Rosie

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Yeah mate, you can. They're called self tanners and they are so much better than they were even a decade ago. You no longer have to worry about streaking and an artificial look, as long as you exfoliate regularly and make purchasing choices wisely. Artificial tans can abso-freaking-lutely look every last bit as real as the real thing and they are much safer. I'd encourage you to get that than before you head of on holiday and then use a good sunscreen (SPF 50 may be overkill but it also can't hurt!). A natural tan is way overrated. But yeah, you will still tan a bit for sure.

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From what I have personally heard, the kind of sunscreen you use is very relevant indeed. For instance, the Australian Gold SPF 15 Spray Gel with Bronzer has an excellent reputation for being a sunscreen that encourages your tan rather than hampering it. It has good reviews on Amazon, from people who were never able to tan before, or who never tanned without burning, or who never achieved a decent real tan. They say this tanning sunscreen finally enabled them to achieve a golden tan, so that's something you could most definitely be looking into if you are interested. That's not SPF 50 though, but SPF 15. Like others said, the merits of SPF are not quite clear in any case.

 

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I have wondered the same in the past and surprisingly, very little objective information seems to be available on this topic. Least of all in the form of advice from dermatologists or other doctors, which is odd. When you look for info on whether it is possible to get a sun tan even if you wear SPF 50, you mostly get results about completely different things like applying your sunscreen every few hours. I guess there's nothing for me but to simply try it out! I'll let you know how it goes,,.
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