July 3, 2023

Can You Tan With Sunscreen SPF 50? (Best Explained)

  • 101
  • 0
  • 0

Everyone loves glowy bronze sun-kissed skin in summer. But you must have also heard from beauty geeks to apply sunscreen before going out in the sun. No matter how much you love your tanned skin, exposing naked skin under direct sunlight is extremely dangerous.


According to experts, most skin cancers worldwide are caused by sun exposure. This is why most experts strongly recommend wearing sunscreen before stepping out. But can you tan with sunscreen SPF 50? This article will solve your confusion surrounding the harms of direct sunlight and not wearing sunscreen.

Importance of Wearing Sunscreen: Can you tan with sunscreen?

Sunscreen is a topical cream or gel that protects the skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays that ultimately cause sunburns. Whether it is a bright sunny day or a cool, breezy, and cloudy day, you must wear sunscreen properly to stay safe from UV rays emitted by the sun.

There are three main types of harmful ultraviolet (UV) sun rays: UVC, UVA, and UVB. Humans are primarily targeted by UVA and UVB rays as they penetrate the skin levels and cause quite an effect on the skin.

UVC Rays: The UVC rays are naturally filtered out by the ozone layer and do not even reach the Earth.

UVB rays: UVB rays are aggressive and cause severe sunburns on the skin’s surface.

UVA rays: UVA rays have a long wavelength and cause photoaging or skin aging.

These damaging uv rays are particularly why you need to protect yourself from sun exposure, and why rethink your questions such as, do you tan with sunscreen?

The people obsessed with bronzed skin and exhibiting a summer glow on their face mostly want to get tanned skin and spend hours in the sun alongside a pool or beach.

Can you tan with sunscreen SPF 50?

The short answer is yes. Even a broad spectrum sunscreen with 100 per cent sun protection protects the skin only 99 per cent. Sunscreen protects you from sun damage. However, you can still get a tan while wearing sunscreen. In other words, sunscreens give protection against severe harm, such as developing sunburn. It does not stop the melanin production that causes your skin to get dark. So, does sunscreen help you tan? The answer is yes.

Chemical sunscreens carry a mixture of organic (carbon-based) chemicals and inorganic chemicals. The inorganic chemical sunscreens feature minerals like zinc oxide or titanium to reflect the white. These are often called physical-based sunscreens. Some inorganic sunscreens carry organic chemicals such as avobenzone or oxybenzone to absorb the UV rays through chemical bonds.

Understanding the difference between tanning and sun damage


The bronze skin is quite a charm that has worked like a considerable charm for many beauty geeks. People use many techniques to get a tanned look, such as tanning beds, spray sessions, DIY tanning, and sunbathing. While other methods are harmless, soaking in sun rays to get a tanned look is not a healthy choice.

The color you get after direct sun damage doesn’t indicate tanned skin but shows severe skin damage that may take weeks or months to reverse. We are often asked can I still get tan with sunscreen on? The answer is yes. 

A sunscreen doesn’t ensure complete protection against the sun’s UVB rays. The uv ray exposure, despite sunscreen, is potent enough to activate melanin production, thus causing tanning in the skin. However, applying sunscreen is important to minimize the damage caused by uv exposure.

Tanning with Sunscreen

Though sun exposure, even with sunscreen, is unadvised, many people are interested in knowing How long it takes to tan with SPF 50. It depends on the skin tone, the amount of sunscreen you have applied, the strength of the UVA rays, and how much time you spend outside. 

The process of skin tanning is the body’s naturally built defence mechanism, which activates as soon as it absorbs the UVA and UVB rays. As it suffers from sun damage, the skin produces a pigment, i.e., melanin, to recover skin cells, which causes skin darkening or tanning. People with light-colored skin naturally lack melanin production and thus take more time to tan. 

People with darker skin tones have good skin production and successfully retain the tanning. So, to answer, can you get a tan with sunscreen? It requires the above-mentioned factors into consideration.

Types of Sunscreen according to skin

There are multiple sunscreens available in the market that offer the proper sun protection according to skin type. Pick the best SPF for tanning according to your skin tone.

  • SPF 15: A protection factor of 15-30 is sufficient for people with brown to black skin.
  • SPF 30-50: A sun protection factor above 30 is quite sufficient for people with brown or chestnut skin.
  • SPF 50 or above: Can you tan with sunscreen SPF 100? For people with light fair skin, freckles, and blond hair, sunscreen with a high SPF above 50 does the job well.

Can you tan with sunscreen SPF 30 or above? The answer is yes. As mentioned above, applying even a broad-spectrum sunscreen doesn’t entirely prevent tanning.

Essential Tips for Protection against Sun Damage

  • Wear sunscreen: Applying broad-spectrum sunscreen to all exposed areas of your body can shield your skin from sun damage. Make sure to apply sunscreen after every two hours to keep the protection layer intact.
  • Use Shades: If you are outdoors for work, stand under shades and avoid direct sun exposure. You can take an umbrella or wear a hat as well.
  • Healthy Tan: If you prefer having a tanned complexion, choose sunless tanning products as a safe alternative. Instead of sunbathing, go for a tanning bed session or get self-tanning products to tan at home.
  • Healthy Diet: If you are going under the sun to get a natural dose of vitamin D, it is better to ensure your intake through a healthy diet.
  • Protective clothing: When it’s necessary to be outdoors, shield your skin from UV radiation by wearing loose-fitting, full-sleeved shirts, long skirts, or pants as protective clothing.

Pro Tip: Use moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, or aloe vera gel in sunscreen for dewy and glowy skin.

How long to tan with SPF 30- Pick the best sunscreen!

Are you sure you can tan with sunscreen while ensuring maximum skin protection? Here are some tips.

  • Pick Mineral Sunscreens: Mineral sunscreens are physical sunscreen blocks that sit on the top layer of the skin and bounce back both UVA and UVB rays. Always look for zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active ingredients to identify a mineral sunscreen. Also, apply a thick layer evenly on the skin to avoid solar radiation.
  • Pick a time wisely: Stay out of the sun between 11 am and 3 pm. Sun rays are most potent to hurt the skin.
  • Cover Sensitive Parts: Cover sensitive skin parts or damaged skin to avoid causing more trouble due to uv damage.
  • Water-resistant Sunscreen: Invest in a good quality water-resistant high SPF sunscreen to ensure the product remains on the skin despite sweating or getting into the water.
  • Reapply Sunscreen: If you are going out in the sun for hours, make sure to reapply the sunscreen after every two hours.

Conclusion: Can you get tan with sunscreen?

Sunscreen acts as a protective shield to ensure the harmful effect of the sun’s rays. Applying sunscreen to minimize the chances of premature aging and the most dangerous skin cancer is essential. If you want to know if you can still tan with sunscreen, you must also consider the adverse effects of staying out in the sun. Apply enough sunscreen on your exposed skin and live a healthy life.

Prev Post

The Best Sunscreen For Tanning at the Beach in 2024

Next Post

Why are my armpits dark?


Leave a Comment