Fake, don't bake!

PUBLISHED: 15:57 17 August 2010 | UPDATED: 16:01 20 February 2013

Caroline Drummond Photo: Ian WIlkinson

Caroline Drummond Photo: Ian WIlkinson

In this June issue, Cornwall Life looks at Cancer Research's SunSmart 2009 campaign

Fake, don't bake!

Cancer Research UK has launched its SunSmart 2009 campaign to advise on looking after your skin in the sun. If you want a healthy glow, why not use fake tan?

With the arrival of summer, Cancer Research UK has launched its annual SunSmart campaign with a call for women everywhere to get to know their skin, to look good and stay safe. You can protect your skin and reduce your risk of skin cancer by using shade, clothing and SPF15+ sunscreen.

If you really want to change the colour of your skin, it's safer to use a fake tan product on your skin than tan out in the sun or under a sunbed. Using these products can help you to avoid exposing your skin to harmful doses of ultraviolet radiation.

Some fake tan products, like bronzers, lie on the skin and can be washed off with water. Others contain a substance called dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which actually reacts with the skin so the colour change can't easily be washed off. The tanned look you get from products that contain DHA normally lasts about a week.

Does fake tan protect you from the sun?

No. Fake tan changes the colour of your skin and gives you a tanned look, but it doesn't give you anywhere near the amount of protection from the sun that we recommend. At most, a fake tan will only provide the same protection as an SPF4 sunscreen, which reduces over time. Some fake tan products do contain added sunscreen, but these will only give protection for a few hours after it is applied.

Should I use sunscreen as well as fake tan?

Yes. You should never use fake tans as an excuse for staying out longer in the sun.

To find out more about how to enjoy the sun safely, visit Cancer Research UK's SunSmart website www.sunsmart.org.uk, or www.cancerresearchuk.org

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