With the southeast experiencing a heat wave, some may be tempted to work on their tan. The summer glow can seem desirable but it can have adverse effects on the skin in the long term.

"Studies have shown that people desire tans because they perceive them as enhancing attractiveness, both for themselves and others. Some also believe that a base tan offers protection from sunburn," said a representative from Sun Safe Sask.

There is no safe way to tan. Tanning results from exposing the skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds, triggering the production of melanin, which gives skin its colour.

Individuals vary in their melanin production, but everyone has melanocytes that produce melanin.

"Melanocytes produce more melanin during tanning as a protective response to UV radiation, especially UVA rays. Each tan indicates cellular damage in the skin caused by UV exposure."

Tanning has long-term implications as it implies repeated cellular damage and brings with it an increased risk of accelerated skin aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, or skin cancer.

“The key question to consider about tanning is: Is a temporarily 'appealing' tan today worth the risk of premature wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer in the future?”