Does fake tan stop you from getting a real tan? Here's everything you need to know | The Sun
16th June 2022

THE WEATHER in the UK has all of a sudden gotten extremely hot.

While you may have been reaching for a bottle of liquid sun to keep you from looking pasty, the sun's now here so you can get the real deal – but can you get a tan with fake tan on?


Can you tan with fake tan on?

There's nothing like a healthy looking tan when the sun is shining, and having fake tan on doesn't stop the UV rays penetrating your skin.

In short, yes you can still tan from the sun if you have fake tan on.

It’s recommended you apply a fake tan before going on holiday, to ease the pressure of wanting a quick tan and sun binging, but it’s not the answer to sun protection.

A sunless tan does not stop you achieving the real thing as it offers no barrier to UV rays.

So you can get a natural glow through a sunless tan.

Do you have to wear sunscreen if you're wearing fake tan?

The simple answer is yes, you always have to wear sun protection in the sun.

Sienna X says: "Sunless tan is not a barrier to UV rays emitted by the sun and sunbeds. Use sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from sun damage."

They added: "Even if your preferred self-tanner has an SPF in it, it’ll wear off like your regular sunscreen so while the tan may last a week that doesn’t mean you're protected by the factor in it for that long."

So you should always apply suncream or spray every half an hour as usual when you have a self-tanner on.

Will my real tan show up under a fake tan?

If you keep your skin hydrated and wear a sunscreen on top of your fake tan, you'll end up building up base colour underneath.

This means by the time your self-tan has faded, you'll have a real one underneath if you've avoided getting burnt by applying your sun cream regularly as advised.

So basically there's no harm in wearing fake tan as long as you use it alongside a high factor SPF cream.

Happy tanning!

Our Dying For A Tan campaign

Instead of waiting for the sun to come out, around one in ten young Brits, including children as young as eight, visit one of the UK's 7,000 tanning salons to use sunbeds.

But using sunbeds before you’re 35 increases your chance of developing melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – by a horrific 87 per cent.

That's why the Sun's Fabulous launched the Dying For A Tan campaign to raise awareness of the dangers associated with the use of sunbeds.

Sunbeds pelt skin with ultraviolet (UV) rays, which are often stronger than the midday Mediterranean sun – 20 minutes on a sunbed is equivalent to four hours in the sun.

The UV radiation causes melanin to be released in the body, which gives skin a tan, but also causes skin cancer.



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Cancer Research has revealed that rates of melanoma have soared by 45 per cent since 2004, with skin cancer now the fifth most common cancer in the UK.

Every year, 2,500 Britons die from the disease and 100,000 people are diagnosed with it.

During the campaign, we'll be telling stories of women who have lost an eye to cancer, had huge holes gauged out of their skin, and been left looking decades older than their age – all because of sunbeds.

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