A: The myth of the healthy tan is an old and difficult idea to change. With the thinning of the ozone layer and the love of outdoor lifestyles, nearly everyone in Hawaii is getting too much sun exposure. This induces genetic damage in the skin, which eventually leads to problems like irregular pigmentation (brown and white spots) and wrinkling, as well as more serious trouble like skin cancers. Although a base tan can protect somewhat from burning, it simultaneously injures the skin, eventually making it more susceptible to sun damage.
The only biological need for sun on the skin is to manufacture Vitamin D. Deficiency of this vitamin is now a thing of the past except for true ’shut-ins’ who get no vitamin supplementation. The need for vitamin D is the only reason people evolved with less melanin as they migrated to northern climates.
Self-tanning lotions are an effective way to temporarily darken the skin for those who feel they are too white. They also give a small amount of sun protection. Those lucky enough to be born with extra melanin still experience sun damage in Hawaii. 30% of melanomas in this state occur in non-Caucasians. Everyone, regardless of skin color, should protect themselves from he sun by using sunscreen and wearing hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing everyday.
See Dr Adee for a Healthy Skin Consultation, to learn about reversing sun damage. We utilize Jan Marini skin products, facial peels and micro-dermabrasion.