'Safe' sun tan from UV is impossible, say scientists

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sun tanning

A safe sun tan from UV rays is impossible, according to a collection of research papers published this month.

The papers, published in the October issue of Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research, document the effects on the skin of UV radiation.

‘Safe’ tan physical impossibility

Along with underlining the importance of sun protection products with high SPF values and good all round UVA and B protection, the findings also highlight the dangers of indoor tanning.

According to Dr David Fisher and his colleagues at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, both tanning and skin cancer begin with the same event (UV mediated damage to DNA), meaning that a ‘safe’ tan with UV radiation may be a physical impossibility.

They go on to suggest that indoor tanning, which is used by younger and younger women, is linked to an increase of melanoma, and is definitely not safe.

“Ultra Violet Radiation exposure represents one of the most avoidable causes of cancer risk and mortality in man​t," said the authors.

“Whereas genetic and other factors undoubtedly contribute importantly to skin cancer risk, the role of UV is incontrovertible, and efforts to confuse the public particularly for purposes of economic gain by the indoor tanning industry, should be vigorously combated for the public health”​ .

Fake tan for kids

This is not the first publication to highlight the dangers of indoor tanning and suggest much stricter regulation regarding its use and availability, particularly to younger age groups.

A number of cosmetic companies are responding to these concerns releasing self tanning products aimed at the younge teens in an attempt to discourage the use of indoor tanning.

One such company is UK-based Fake Bake, which is planning to launch of a range aimed at young girls.

Related topics Formulation & Science

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