Can You Tan with Sunscreen: Let’s Find out!

Tanning in Sun

We all love a nice tan that looks as natural as possible during those hot summer days. However, we don’t want to expose our skin to a variety of risks to achieve such a tan so we should always use the right sunscreen.

But does your skin still gets the tan that you want while using sunscreen? And if so, what type of sunscreen should you consider? The answers to these questions and ore can be found in this in depth guide that you can follow to have a perfect and healthy tan!

Will you still get a tan while using sunscreen?

The simple answer is yes, and even in a healthier way than without a sunscreen. A sunscreen will not affect the intensity of your tan or the time you need to spend in the sun to achieve one. However it will increase your skin’s resistance to burning by 50 times.

This means that you can stay in the sun 50 times more time before taking the risk of getting burned than you would if you wouldn’t be wearing any sunscreen. This means you actually should wear sunscreen not only to protect your skin but also to achieve an even tan that will last longer.

Also, it is important to keep in mind that you can very well get some tan while you spend time in the shade, even if you wear sunscreen. This means that you can also get the unpleasant side effects of prolonged sun exposure which is another reason to wear appropriate sunscreen.

Many people make the mistake to think that they will not get burned or tanned as long as they stay in the shade which is why they skip the sunscreen altogether. The only aspect that is relevant about this concept is that it will take you longer to achieve a tan if you stay in the shade than if you would stay in direct sunlight.

Why do you need to use sunscreen

There are many reasons why you need to wear sunscreen while you are planning to spend time in the sun. Some are obvious ones and known by the majority of people while others are more subtle benefits that you might not even be aware of.

It helps not to get burned

Tanning is not healthy under any circumstances, unless you protect your skin wisely. The UVB sun rays can not only give you a variety of side effects but they can burn your skin very easily in just a matter of minutes. The best radiation to get when you want a nice tan that won’t come with a burn side effect is the UVA which can be accessed in the morning and evening times.

Also, people with pale skin tend to get burned easier since their skin doesn’t produce as much melanin as the darker skin. However, people with tanned skin can get tanned easier and in a faster way those with darker skin.

Sunscreen protects you against skin cancer

It is well known that a strong combination between UVA and UVB can create skin cancer if you expose yourself to these radiations long enough. This is why you should never stay in the sun without protection and you should try to avoid the middle of the day when the radiations are even stronger.

Sunscreen, especially the one with SPF 50 can protect you well enough against skin cancer and it can ultimately become a life saver if you use it with regularity every time you are spending time in the sun. And this doesn’t mean only sunbathing but also long walks as well. The sunscreen acts like a shield and blocks these radiations from damaging your skin, allowng only a healthy and even tan to appear.

You can avoid aging signs

Too much sun exposure can actually age your skin ahead of time and create wrinkles when you shouldn’t have so many. This is a particular problem for women which is why they tend to end up using a variety of anti aging creams and lotion to treat this effect.

But by using the right sunscreen, you can definitely prevent aging signs ahead of time. On the market, you will also find sunscreen that contains hyaluronic acid, a substance known for treating wrinkles and giving the skin its natural youth and beauty.

Even if it takes a lot of sun exposure to get wrinkles, it is always better to be on the safe side by preventing such a thing with a sunscreen applied correctly.

How to choose the best sunscreen for your needs

Now that you know all the benefits of wearing sunscreen, you might wonder which one is the best for you. The market offers so many options that choosing the sunscreen you need might be somewhat overwhelming. But by keeping the following aspects in mind, you can end up with a great choice and a healthy tanned skin.

Check the SFP factor. The main feature of a good sunscreen is the SPF factor. The highest this is, the best protection against sun rays you will get. The most popular sunscreen comes with an SPF of 50 and this is supposed to be the most efficient, especially for those with fair skin that are taking higher risks of burning. However, if you know that you don’t get burned so easily, you can use a sunscreen of 40 SPF or even lower, as long as it works for your type of skin well enough.

Be sure it has good quality ingredients. The ingredients that these sunscreens are made off, can differ a lot from one manufacturer to another. But what you should look for is oil free sunscreen without fragrance or parabens. As long a the ingredients are as natural as possible, you can rely on the fact that you are not taking any unnecessary risks.

Also, you can find sunscreens with hyaluronic acid which can do miracles for preventing aging signs. If you know that your skin is prone to allergies, try to find a hypoallergenic product that way you are sure that you will not suffer of any side effects. Sometimes, a bad chosen sunscreen can create significant side effects that might require other treatments.

does sunscreen stop you from tanning

Check the type of skin that it is recommended for. Some sunscreens work well on both your face and your body and those are the ones that you should keep your eyes on. However, there are sunscreens that will be good only for your body or only for your face, case in which you might need to use more than one product to protect yourself. Check the description of the manufacturer before investing in such a product and make sure that it is just what you need.

Waterproof or not? Not all sunscreens are waterproof but this is a feature that can really make the difference between a good product and one that is not so good. By using a waterproof sunscreen you can go swimming and if you sweat because of the heat you shouldn’t be concerned that your protection against sun radiations is not on anymore.

More: How to Get Rid of Tan Lines

This type of sunscreen is also lasting longer than the one that is not waterproof which means you can apply it every 80 or 90 minutes and still be protected even in the hottest days of summer. Read the description of the product before purchasing and make sure that you are investing in a waterproof sunscreen for better results.

The price of your sunscreen will vary according to the ingredients it has, the SPF factor and the waterproof feature but also the applying strategy.

For instance, a sunscreen that works for your body and face equally, has a high SPF, is waterproof and made of natural ingredients will be more expensive than the rest of the products. But as a general rule, keep in mind that you can find sunscreens for every budget as long as you know what you are looking for.

Best sunscreen products on the market

Even if there are plenty of sunscreens on the market, we picked those that are considered to be the best ones for any type of skin, including the most sensitive one. The following products are considered safe by dermatologists and the risk to develop side effects from using them according to their instructions are minimal. So, here are the best five sunscreens that you can find on the market and you can definitely rely on when you need to protect your skin from the dangerous radiations!

1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

La Roche-Posay offers a very sensitive sunscreen created to protect your skin in a delicate, yet efficient way. It is a face sunscreen that protects you against the risk of cancer and other types of side effects caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight. These risks are even higher at noon when the sun is sending stronger rays. But by using this sunscreen, you can be sure that your skin is safe and nourished.

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With its 100 percent mineral structure this sunscreen is great against skin aging that can also be caused by the sun. It contains Zinc, Oxide and antioxidants and it is created by using Cell-Ox technology. This product is perfect for sensitive skin since it will not create any allergic reactions. The skin is protected by a combination of UVA and UVB filters which create a functional combination with the antioxidants. For best results, shake before applying, at least 15 minutes before exposing your skin to sun.

2. Vichy Capital Idéal Soleil Sunscreen SPF 45, 5 Fl. Oz

Vichy offers a high quality sunscreen as well and an increased protection against the undesired effects of the sun. It is oil free and it can be used on your body and your face equally, without taking any risks. It is created with UVA and UVB protection as well as a SPF of 45 which will be suitable for most types of skin. This lotion is not greasy and it gets absorbs very easily inside your skin.

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It is paraben free and kept at a natural level when it comes to its ingredients. Among these ingredients you can find a high concentration of Vitamin E, antioxidants, as well as white grape extract. Your skin will not just be protected against sun rays but it will also look healthier and shinier. It should be applied to your face and body 15 minutes before sun exposure if you want to obtain the results you are going for. You should also reapply it every 80 minutes to maintain your skin protected. By using this sunscreen you can also swim without diminishing its effects.

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3. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Non-Greasy

The UVA and UVB spectrum of SPF 50 of this Neutrogena sunscreen will be just what your skin needs to be protected against sunlight. It is resistant to water which makes it perfect if you want to swim and it also hydrates your skin in depth while using it. By wearing this sunscreen you get up to 8 hours of protection and hydrating treatment.

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It will get absorbed fast in your skin and it leaves no white residue. Dermatologists support this sunscreen because it is oil free and it has no comedogenic formula which means that your pores will not get clogged while using it. You can use it both on your face and body and count on it as it is recommended even for people with sensitive type of skin. This is not just a safe product but also a highly efficient one if you want to achieve the perfect skin tan while taking minimum risks.

4. Murad City Skin Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen Spf 50

Another great sunscreen that will make sure your skin is protected against cancer or aging effects is the Murad City Sunscreen with SPF 50. since this sunscreen contains a significant amount of Vitamin C, you can have a skin tone that is evened out and looks nourished and healthy.

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It is a product that contains no fragrance which makes it safe even for sensitive types of skin as it will not generate allergic reactions. You will be pleased to notice that this sunscreen is easily absorbed into your skin and it hydrates it deeply. Murad is one of the best sunscreens that you can find on the market and it works for all types of skin which makes it very versatile. And it is used by both men and women as it is not known to create any reactions that could harm your skin.

5. EltaMD UV Daily Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

EltaMD UV is one of the most efficient sunscreens on the market with a 40 SFP but it is also a strong moisturiser. You can use it to protect yourself from the side effects of sun exposure but also to nourish your skin with its nutrients. After using this sunscreen you will notice that your skin will look healthier, glowing and more youthful.

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Since it has a big quantity of hyaluronic acid, it is also a great solution to prevent aging. You can use it successfully all year round even when you don’t plan to go sunbathing since it a great body lotion to apply on your skin. By using this sunscreen, your skin will still gain the shade of tan that you aim for but without any risks and unpleasant side effects. It offers protection against UVA and UVB equally and it works great when it is used according to the instructions that it comes with.


By following this guide you can be sure that you end up with the best tye of sunscreen for your needs. Take into consideration the aspects that a sunscreen should have in order to offer you the best type of protection and try to compromise as little as possible when investing into such a product.

After all, a sunscreen is the type of lotion that gets in contact with your skin frequently and you shouldn’t underestimate its potential. If you choose it wisely, it can be the best advantage you bring to your skin.

However, if your sunscreen is not compatible with your type of skin or it has poor ingredients, you might face a variety of side effects that are not pleasant to deal with and could require long term treatment.

Once you find the sunscreen that is perfect for you, you can start wearing it daily in order to increase the protection that your skin needs. Choose one that is waterproof as well so you can dive in the pool or the waves of the ocean as you please, without any concerns. Love your skin and keep it healthy and looking young for as long as possible!

Monika Dimitrovska

A makeup freak who's passionate about books, beauty products, vegan food, daydreaming, and stargazing.

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