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Can You Tan with Sunscreen?

No matter how long you are exposed to the sun, it is essential to protect your skin with sunscreen to avoid numerous inconveniences (photoaging, sunburn, hyperpigmentation...). But can you tan with sunscreen of a high sun protection factor (SPF)?

A Few Reminders About Tanning.

Tanning is a natural process that allows the skin to protect itself from the harmful consequences of exposure to ultraviolet rays. Cells increase their production of melanin on the surface of the skin to form a barrier against UV rays so that they do not penetrate deep into the skin tissue.

The UVC rays emitted by the sun are the most harmful, but fortunately, they are filtered by the ozone layer and do not reach the surface of the Earth. On the other hand, UVA and UVB rays do come into contact with the epidermis. UVB is particularly aggressive for the skin and responsible for sunburn. UVA rays penetrate further than UVB rays and reach the dermis, the deep layer of the skin. They are the cause of “photoaging”.

Does Sunscreen Prevent Tanning?

The answer is no. Even sunscreen with a high sun protection factor, like SPF30 or 50,  does not offer total protection against UVA and UVB rays. A small proportion of these rays still reach the epidermis and generate the tanning mechanism described above. In other words, even the application of a sunscreen does not stop the production of melanin and will not prevent tanning. Depending on the sunscreen used, the role of a sunscreen is to absorb (organic filters) and reflect (mineral filters) the UV rays that reach the skin's surface, but not to slow down melanin production.

Every morning at the end of your beauty routine, during sun exposure, and for tanning, apply our SPF30 facial sunscreen. This product prevents photoaging thanks to a combination of mineral and organic filters that offer broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection. It is enriched with aloe vera, karanja oil and hyaluronic acid from fermented wheat. The clever blend of these three components protects the skin from UV rays while maintaining its hydration.

Bonus: Its light texture leaves a finish without white marks, non-sticky and non-shiny.

How to Choose the Right Sun Protection?

For a complexion without sunburn, it is important to select the correct sunscreen with the appropriate SPF and you can still tan with it.  This choice depends on the phototype of each person. According to Fitzpatrick's classification, skins are categorized into 6 phototypes defined according to hair color, skin tone, frequency of sunburn and type of tanning:

  • Phototypes I and II: SPF 50:

Individuals with red hair, freckles and a pale complexion (phototype I) and those with blond hair and fair skin (phototype II) should opt for SPF 50 sun protection.

  • Phototypes III and IV: SPF 30 to 50:

Light-skinned chestnut individuals (phototype III) or brown/chestnut individuals with slightly matt skin (phototype IV) should opt for a sun protection factor of 30 or even 50 and can still be tanning.

  • Phototypes V and VI: SPF 15 to 30:

For mixed to dark skin of phototype V or black skin of phototype VI, a sun protection factor of 15 to 30 is sufficient for protection.


Understand your skin
and its complex needs.