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Does sunscreen prevent tanning?

  1. Oct 5, 2004 #1


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    Simple question with only a few possible answers: yes, no, sort of. If the answer is sort of, please explain how much it effects tanning.

    I actually did try google searching before posting here :wink:
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2004 #2


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    If you apply a high enough SPF and apply it correctly, yes, it will prevent tanning. If you're tanning, the UV light is still getting to your skin to cause damage. Though, I'm one of those people with such fair skin that I burn very quickly in bright sun, which means I can put on SPF 50 and still get a tan, but it's still better than the sunburn I'd have without it.
  4. Nov 13, 2004 #3

    Sunsceens are just that - a screen. The SPF is a rating of how long you can stay in the sun for with a set amount of sunscreen on a set area of skin without causing reddening of the skin, but doesn't specifically relate to the tanning repsonse which is largely genetically determined (ie some people tan more than others, some burn more).

    Obviously, if you block out all UV radiation the no tanning can occur.
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