Many makeup brands claim that their products protect your skin from dust, dirt, and heat. So, a common question arises, can you tan with makeup on?
In this article, we see if it is possible to have tanned skin while wearing makeup. We will also discuss if it is practical to do so and some skincare tips while using cosmetics and tanning.
The Science Behind Tanning
Tanning is your body’s natural protection against sun damage. Your skin has three layers: epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue.
The epidermis is the layer you can see, while the dermis and subcutaneous tissues lie deep and contain vital organs like nerves, glands, veins, and arteries.
When the Sun’s UV rays enter your skin, the UVA rays trigger melanin production in the epidermis. Melanin is the hormone that blocks the pathway so that the harmful rays can’t reach the dermis and the subcutaneous layers.
Melanin is also responsible for the pigmentation of the skin, which gives its tanned look.
Is Tanning Good?
‘Wow, she has a great tan. She must have gone on a good vacation.’
Medically, there is everything wrong with this statement. Tanning shows that your skin has been damaged by the Sun. Not only does it cause irritations, but regular exposure to the Sun can also increase the risk of skin cancer.
Furthermore, a study shows that the risk of skin cancer is even more in indoor tanning stations like a tanning bed.
Thus, despite the welcoming general perception toward tanning, you have to remember that it isn’t good for your body.
Can You Tan While Wearing Makeup?
Makeup products cover your skin but don’t reflect or offer a complete barrier to the Sun’s Rays. So the answer is yes, you can tan while wearing makeup.
However, as makeup does cover the skin slightly, the tanning will be inconsistent.
The Reason for Inconsistent Tanning
Many cosmetics contain chemicals that are hard for the Sun’s rays to break down. Thus, they can block some UV Rays. This results in uneven tan lines across the face.
Factors That Affect How Much Makeup Affects Your Tan
Now that we know makeup creates an uneven tan, a question arises- to what extent? Will it be easily noticeable, or will you be able to walk in the streets without feeling like everyone is staring at you?
Here are the things that affect how much tan you will get when you wear makeup.
The SPF Score
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It influences how much a skincare product can block UV radiation. Makeup items with a higher SPF protection cause your skin to tan more slowly.
Your Skin Tone
Darker skin has more melanin, so it tans faster. But interestingly, tanning is more visible in people with lighter skin since the color of the melanin stands out.
Type of Skin
Dry and sensitive skin is more prone to sunburn and tanning. Furthermore, it has been seen that moisturized skin tans more evenly than dry skin.
The Time of Day
As per the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM. So makeup or not, you will experience most tanning during this time.
Does Makeup Protect Your Skin Against UV Rays?
While makeup blocks the Sun, it doesn’t adequately protect against skin damage.
There are two types of UV Rays: UVA and UVB Rays. The former is responsible for tanning, while the latter creates sunburn.
Most cosmetic products don’t have enough SPF (Sun Protection Factor) to avoid both types of UV Rays. In other words, you should never use your makeup as a substitute for sunscreen.
Is it Safe to Tan While Wearing Makeup?
For an honest answer, absolutely not!
Makeup results in certain changes in your skin which increase the extent of Sun damage. These include:
It’s no news that makeup sticks to your skin, blocking the pores.
On the other hand, exposure to the Sun can make you sweat and increase sebum, a greasy oil produced in your skin. This can add to the makeup that has already been causing skin congestion.
Both makeup and UV rays are known to create skin irritation. Thus, if you tan when you wear makeup, you may notice more issues such as allergies, redness, swelling, etc.
Increases Risk of Diseases
At the end of the day, cosmetic products are just chemicals. So no matter how expensive they are, they aren’t entirely safe, especially since makeup items don’t go through as much screening as other drugs.
Cosmetic products may contain certain chemicals such as Talc, Triclosan, Lead, Mercury, Thimerosal, Parabens, etc., which have been attributed to many diseases. This includes herpes, premature aging, antibiotic resistance, kidney and respiratory system damage, and even skin cancer.
The same goes for UV radiation; it increases the risk for common diseases among makeup wearers.
How to Avoid Tanning When You Wear Makeup
Here are some points that will help you avoid tanning or get an even tan with makeup.
Wear Sunscreen Before Makeup
Sunscreen underneath your makeup is the best way to reduce tanning. Look for a product with higher SPF for increased protection against the Sun.
An SPF of 30 protects against 97% of the UV rays. Similarly, a score of 50 protects against 99% radiation.
Tip: Use a tinted sunscreen for extra protection against UV radiation.
Look for Products With Built-in SPF Protection
Some cosmetics come with their own SPF protection.
If you are also wearing sunscreen, an SPF value of 15 in your makeup items should be more than enough to create a tanning barrier.
Wear A Moisturizer
Moisturizer helps to even out the tan and offers UV protection.
It’s better to use a tinted moisturizer with a little more than 1% of AHAs, as it decreases the melanogenesis process in the skin.
Don’t skip on this, as a moisturizer helps rehydrate the skin surface, which the Sun’s rays have dried out.
You can tan with makeup, but you must avoid the situation as much as possible. Using cosmetics in the Sun results in a patchy tan and can also create issues on your skin’s surface and increases the risks for many diseases.
Hence, while wearing makeup during tanning, you must offer proper skin protection. Use products with good SPF value, and never forget to apply sunscreen before going out in the open.