Does a Base Tan Actually Prevent Sunburn? A Doctor Answers

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We've all heard of people hitting the tanning beds before they go on vacation — but if you think getting a base tan before hitting the beach will prevent you from getting burned this summer, think again!

"It does not," family physician and associate professor at Rowan University in New Jersey Dr. Jen Caudle tells us. You can still burn with a base tan. 

And though some sources suggest there is a very small amount of SPF provided by a base tan (the US Surgeon General says it only provides an SPF of 3 or less), Dr. Jen strongly advises against getting one regardless. 

"I strongly recommend against getting a base tan because of the exposure to UV radiation and risk of skin cancer," she says.

In fact, every time you tan or burn, you can damage the DNA in your skin. And the more you do that, the greater your risk is of getting skin cancer.

"Wear sunscreen," Dr. Jen stresses. Don't count on a base tan to protect you from those rays!

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