How to get a safe tan?

Although most of the friends and family I know who don't care about using sunscreen and like to get a tan from the sun have perfectly fine skin, in theory uv-light ages skin. Could it be possible that we will discover in a couple of years that sunscreen ages your skin more than the uv-light from the sun? But if you are using sunscreen every day, to prevent skin aging, you will not get a tan. This is fine by me, but I constantly get comments why my face looks so pale and if I'm ill or something.

Now I would like to know the best way to get a sort of tan. Of course a self-tanner with dihydroxyacetone would be your first answer, but more and more studies are emerging that these kind of products increase free radical damage and frequently cause skin irritations, and inhaling it is also unhealthy. Some studies indicate that it could be possible that small amounts penetrate also to the viable cell layers. In my opinion it doesn't sound as safe and I'm wondering what's worse, looking pale or the possible negative aspects of self-tanners. Another option is using a Powder Bronzer, although they almost always contain Titanium Dioxide which also increases free radical damage and things like Talc and Starches which dry out skin.

So what's the truth in all this, and what is best option for your skin to prevent looking like so pale?


  • As of right now the best science says the greatest danger is skin cancer from over-exposure to the sun. The dangers of using sunscreen, sunless tanners or bronzing powders pale in comparison. (Pun intended.)

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