Can You Put Fake Tan on Sunburn?

Did you know that cases of severe sunburn are the highest they have been in the last six years? While everyone wants an all-over glow, many are neglecting safety in favour of it. So how do you stay safe when tanning?

There are a number of questions raised with both natural and fake tanning. Read on as we answer the query "can you put fake tan on sunburn?"

How Do Tanners Work?

ECO-FRIENDLY TANNING MITT

To understand if you should use tanners or not, it helps to understand how fake tans work. To operate, they use the dead skin cells that are on the top layer of all our skin. A chemical that is known as dihydroxyacetone then reacts with these, darkening the layer of skin. 

Fake tans will fade over time. As the layer of epidermis wears away in a natural process, the tans wears away with it. 

What Is Sunburn?

Sunburn can be much more complex than most people believe. It usually manifests as a red, sore area on the skin, though this can change depending on your skin colouration. Burnt skin can peel, blister, become tight and is often sore. 

The problem occurs when the skin is exposed to too much ultraviolet light. UV is found in the natural light spectrum, especially in light from the sun. When you have too much the skin burns. 

The skin's natural way of protecting itself is to produce melanin. This natural pigmentation is what causes the skin to go darker in colour, tanning it. When there is not enough melanin in the skin to protect it burning takes place. 

Over time, too much exposure to UV can cause serious problems. Not only does it age the skin quicker, but it is known to be linked to harmful skin cancers. 

Can You Put Fake Tan on Sunburn?

Many people ask the question "Can you fake tan over sunburn?" Fake tan is an application that makes the skin look like it has increased levels of melanin. It is applied in the form of a lotion or cream. 

In short, the answer is yes. However, it should only be done in certain situations when the burn is very mild. 

H2: Fake Tan Over Peeling Sunburn

Should you have blistering and peeling, then the skin is in the process of healing. Applying fake tan to this is essentially adding it to an open wound. You wouldn't consider rubbing it into a cut, so you shouldn't apply it on severe sunburn either. 

As mentioned, tanners contain a chemical named dihydroxyacetone (DHA). It will react with amino acids in dead skin cells. As such, you don't want to apply it to the large swathes of dead skin peeling from your body. 

Regardless of the health costs, a fake tan on peeling skin won't look right anyway. It will come away in flakes and have an uneven appearance. 

Does Fake Tan Help Prevent Sunburn?

Not at all. Even a natural tan will not prevent sunburn, as it does not have enough UV blocking capabilities. Sunblock and shielding yourself with the right clothing are the only way to prevent it.

At the most, a tan may add your natural protection rating of SP 2 or 3. Fake tan has no sun-blocking properties. If you buy a fake tan that claims to do so, then check the small print very carefully and see what it actually does. 

Can You Tan Over Fake Tan?

As fake tan offers no sun protection, it will not stop any of the suns rays from getting through. You should assume you have no sun protection at all. As a consequence, you will get a natural tan even if you wear a fake tan on the top. 

Can You Spray Tan Over a Sunburn?

As previously mentioned, applying a fake tan over sunburn depends on the severity of the burn. In the case of a spray tan, you also need to think about the location on your body. 

Once again, if you have peeling or blistered skin then you should not apply any fake tan. Even if the burn is extremely sore, you should avoid adding anything to it (unless it has healing properties) and wait until it has healed. 

How to Get Rid of Sunburn

The best way to improve your natural tan, or get a more even coat from your self-tan, is to heal your skin. While this requires patience and does mean you need to stay out of the sun for a while, there are some other steps you can take to help it along. 

Start by moisturizing your skin. When the sun burns it, the skin loses its natural moisture. By restoring this, you can help speed up the process. 

Avoid moisturizers that contain alcohol or petroleum jelly. They can dry the skin out even further. Any items that contain numbing agents can also irritate the skin, so opt for a light, water-based moisturizer. 

You can also hydrate your skin from the inside by drinking lots of water. This will stop you from being dehydrated and restore the natural water levels in the skin. 

Finally, don't peel the skin away or break blisters. These are part of the body's natural healing process. In the case of a blister, it is your body's natural way of preventing dirt and bacteria from entering the body - so don't pop them!

Responsible Tanning

Now you can answer the question "can you put fake tan on sunburn?" and other queries, you can tan responsibly. Care for your skin and limit its contact with the sun. You will then get an even tan when false tanning, and build a natural glow underneath.

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