What is a tan?

There is a misconception that controlled tanning without subsequent burn helps to build up protection in the skin.  However, a tan is a sign that the skin has been injured.  Skin produces melanin to darken the skin and protect underlying tissues and cells from further damage.  This damage accumulates over time, increasing the effects of aging, such as winkles and leathery skin, as well as increasing the risk for skin cancer.

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