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Sun Tanning: Mistakes to Avoid.

Between vacations, the sun, and warm sand, the allure of tanning is tempting. To enjoy a nice tan while preserving your skin, certain mistakes must absolutely be avoided. From the choice of your sunscreen to its application method, and the duration of sun exposure, take note of these habits to avoid.


Mistake No. 1: Skipping Sunscreen.

Sun protection is not exclusive to fair skin. Prolonged exposure to the sun is dangerous regardless of one's skin type. Beyond mere sunburns, UV rays can cause the appearance of pigment spots, accelerate cellular aging, and promote cancers. That's why it's imperative to generously apply a broad-spectrum sun care product before any sun exposure.

Mistake No. 2: Not reapplying sunscreen protection.

Depending on the activities undertaken, applying sunscreen once is not always sufficient. Indeed, the effectiveness of the filters it contains decreases when it is "displaced", whether it be due to a water-based activity, excessive sweating, or rubbing. That's why it's important to reapply if you're engaging in a sporting activity or if you're swimming. Also, remember to protect all the areas you expose, including the hands, behind the ears, the nose...

Mistake No. 3: Exposing oneself during the hottest hours.

It's important to note that certain times of the day are more conducive to tanning than others. In order to achieve a sun-kissed complexion without sunburn, avoid UV rays between 11am and 4pm. Indeed, it is during this period of the day that they are the most intense and the most dangerous. Exposing yourself between 9am and 11am or at the end of the day allows for tanning and greatly reduces the risks.

Mistake No. 4: Prolonged exposure to the sun.

Contrary to what one might think, prolonged exposure to the sun does not allow for faster tanning. Instead, it increases the risk of skin dryness and having a peeling skin in the following days. For safe tanning, prefer progressive exposure and short periods, ideally less than an hour. This is sufficient for the skin to initiate the melanogenesis process and begin to darken.

Mistake No. 5: Not considering the risks posed by tanning beds.

It can be tempting to visit a tanning booth for a quick and even tan. However, this is highly discouraged, as artificial UV rays are more energetic than sunlight and, consequently, much more dangerous. A 15-minute session in a tanning booth actually equates to exposure under the blazing sun for 2 to 3 hours.

It's also worth noting that UV tanning beds are classified as "cancer-causing" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Scientists have estimated that exposure to artificial UV rays before the age of 30 increases the risk of developing a melanoma by 75%. Therefore, for safe tanning, it's better to avoid UV tanning beds and favor natural sun exposure.

Mistake No. 6: Not hydrating your skin.

A common mistake when seeking to tan is to overlook the importance of hydrating the skin morning and evening. The sun has a drying effect on the skin and weakens the hydrolipidic film on its surface. The skin then becomes more sensitive to the sun's UV rays, as it becomes more porous and is more likely to become irritated and red rather than acquiring a tanned hue.

To limit water loss and dehydration, we recommend our face moisturizing cream with 9 ingredients. Enriched with hyaluronic acid (INCI: Sodium Hyaluronate), glycerin and coconut oil (INCI: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil), it's a minimalist formula that hydrates and nourishes the epidermis. Its light, non-greasy, and non-comedogenic texture is suitable for all skin types. For the body, you can opt for our body moisturizing cream with 10 ingredients, which hydrates all skin types, even sensitive ones.

Mistake No. 7: Believing that sun exposure is necessary for tanning.

It may seem counterintuitive, but it is not necessary to expose oneself to direct sunlight to get a tan. Today, there are cosmetic products that allow you to achieve a nice sun-kissed complexion without having to expose yourself to UV rays and their associated risks: these are self-tanners.

Most self-tanners contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA). Once applied to the skin, this compound induces a brownish hue within 4 to 6 hours, by reacting with the amino acids in the corneal layer of the epidermis through a Maillard reaction to form pigments, the melanoidins, which are responsible for skin coloration. Self-tanners often also contain erythrulose , a sugar found in red fruits. This compound acts similarly to DHA but more slowly. The DHA-erythrulose combination allows for a more natural and uniform tan. Moreover, erythrulose has moisturizing properties that counterbalance the drying power of DHA.

At Typology, we have developed two self-tanning formulations, providing a natural bronzed complexion. For a natural and gradual tan, you can try our self-tanning serum. It is concentrated at 10% in DHA and also contains carob pulp (INCI: Ceratonia Siliqua Seed Extract), a compound rich in inositol, a molecule that acts on melanogenesis. We also recommend our self-tanning gel for the body, enriched with 6% DHA. Also found in this care product is aloe vera (INCI: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder), which is highly hydrating.

Mistake No. 8: Using milking grease, vegetable oils, or other substances to tan faster.

Composed of coconut oil, petroleum jelly, and paraffin, milking grease is a fatty substance sometimes used with the intention of tanning faster. However, this is a mistakenly good idea, as this substance acts like a magnifying glass and intensifies the skin's sensitivity to the sun's UV rays. The skin then becomes more vulnerable and more likely to develop sunburn or melanoma. Additionally, some people mistakenly believe that milking grease has a protective effect on the skin due to its greasy texture. This is merely an impression, it does not provide any UV protection.

Mistake No. 9: Protecting Only Against UVB Rays.

The UV rays emitted by the sun are classified into three categories, based on their wavelength: UVC (100 - 280 nm), UVB (280 - 320 nm), and UVA (320 - 400 nm). The UVC rays are blocked by the ozone layer, but this is not the case for UVA and UVB rays. It is sometimes thought that it is sufficient to protect oneself from UVB rays, as they are the ones responsible for sunburn and post-exposure irritations.

However, UVA rays are also dangerous and penetrate into the dermis where they promote skin aging but especially skin cancers. Therefore, it is important to protect oneself from these two types of UV rays by applying a sunscreen referred to as "broad spectrum", meaning it provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Mistake No. 10: Exfoliating just before sun exposure.

While exfoliating your skin before sun exposure is a good idea, it should be done at least 3 days prior, not the day before. Indeed, an exfoliated skin is more delicate and more vulnerable to the drying effects of the sun as well as the risk of skin damage, such as redness, burns, and sunburns.


  • ANANTHASWAMY H. & al. Toxic effects of ultraviolet radiation on the skin. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (2004).

  • CRANE J. & al. Skin cancer prevention. Statpearls (2022).


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