Tanning is a popular activity in the summer months. However, in your pursuit to achieve the complexion and glow of your dreams, you may end up damaging your skin. Yes, you read that right. Tanning is in no way beneficial for your skin.

Whoever believes that tanning can bless their skin in some way, they’re just following what myths say. Talking about myths, several of those surround tanning. Let’s bust 9 popular ones of these so that you can differentiate between truth and false:

1 – A base tan can protect you from sun damage

Most people think that they need a base tan in order to protect their skin from sunburns. Now this is absolutely incorrect. Tanning is itself proof that damage has been caused to the skin. Your skin darkens in your efforts to get a base tan due to the redistribution of melanin.

When you get a tan, it’s not only your skin that gets damaged. In fact, even your DNA may get harmed because of the sun exposure. So, when you walk around freely in the sun thinking that you’re protecting your skin since it has a base tan, your skin is just suffering through more damage. This damage can also be irreversible.

2 – Skin cancer caused due to tanning is not deadly

Here’s another popular belief – most skin cancers that are associated to tanning are not life-threatening. Some types of cancers which you can get due to excessive sun exposure include squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.

The latter causes 10,000 deaths on an annual basis. Though other factors also chip in when it comes to skin cancer, UV rays play a big role. In fact, melanoma is 90% caused due to UV exposure. Moreover, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.

3 – Tanning is crucial so that you can get vitamin D

People who live in cold regions often hear how they need to catch more sun so as to improve their vitamin D intake. So, when summer months finally make their way, folks set up tanning beds to lie down exhibiting themselves to the sun. Is this the right way to get vitamin D?

No. There’s no point baking yourself in the sun and damaging your health by tanning just to get some vitamin D. This vitamin can also be consumed through supplements and nutrition. Moreover, just a quick few minutes of random, not dedicated, sun exposure are also just enough.

4 – Tanning is safe for those who are young

The earlier you start tanning, the higher your risk of developing skin cancer. In fact, when you are younger, your skin is even more sensitive to the effects of UV rays. Researchers say that limiting people under the age of 18 to indoor tanning can help reduce melanoma cases.

Older people often think that it is not as bad for children to tan as it is for them, because they experience accelerated aging. This, however, apparently doesn’t happen to children. However, they are actually being affected by it worse.

5 – People with darker complexions don’t need sunscreen

Another uneducated view that several have regarding tanning is that dark skinned folks don’t need sun protection. In truth, tanning damages the skin of those who aren’t fair as well. It triggers aging and leads to skin cancers which happens to people of all skin colors.

While the extra melanin that dark skinned people have protects them somewhat, it cannot combat the harmful UV radiations of the skin. Therefore, do wear sunscreen regardless of what your complexion is.

6 – You can only get a glow through tanning

You must be aware of the reason so many people prefer tanning. Basically, people have come to believe that there is only a single way of getting a healthy glow. And that is through getting a suntan on a tanning bed.

Well, guess what? You don’t have to put your skin through huge risks just to look pretty. You can achieve the same radiant look by using making products that are of a high quality. There are many tanners and bronzers available today that don’t require you to get a tan.

7 – UVA rays are not as harmful

There are two kinds of UV rays. People think that only one of them is harmful. The common misconception is that UVA rays are innocent while UVB rays are harmful. In truth, both are. Though UVB rays are responsible for cancer, UVA aren’t completely in the clear.

UVA rays can accelerate aging. They can ruin the texture of your skin and they can cause wrinkles. Furthermore, extended exposure to these rays can cause DNA damage. Since tanning beds make use of UVA rays, people prefer them. These beds are actually pretty dangerous so much so that in some countries they’re even illegal.

8 – Tanning is safe as long as it doesn’t burn you

By now you must have got the idea that even the slightest bit of tanning is a sign of damage. Unfortunately, most people think that tanning is alright as long as it doesn’t cause any sunburns. Sunburns don’t only look ugly but they’re also pretty painful.

People don’t believe in the negative effects of tanning which occur in the long run because they’re too focused on the present. They think that if it is working fine for them now, it shouldn’t be harmful at all. Which is wrong.

9 – Tanning helps with weight loss

Here’s a myth that makes no sense at all – some think that tanning can help with weight loss. The concept behind this outrageous myth is that heat triggers thermogenesis. This process can help melt off excess pounds.

However, there is no truth to this whatsoever. If you want to lose weight, you can try eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Many people who believe in this myth hope to lose some weight by resting on artificial tanning beds.

So, with this, our list of myths related to tanning comes to an end. The only conclusion you can draw from these pointers is this – excess sun exposure is not good for the skin. It can cause cancer which can be life-threatening. It also accelerates aging, Therefore, avoid the sun and keep wearing that sunscreen!