Hey, all you beach babies! The sun’s out and it’s time to get your tan on!
If you’ve spent the last couple of months, or years, cooped up, you may be dying to get to the beach and let the sun thaw and beautify you!
You’ve got your bathing suit, SPF sunscreen and gang. Sounds like a plan! But before you head, here are a few tips to save you from getting burned. These will give you a safe tan without the pain and suffering.
10 ways to get a beautiful tan without exposing your skin to harsh rays:
1. Prepare your skin before you head outdoors
Nobody likes flaky skin and owww – sore, burn spots!
Prepping your skin, all over, is a key step in ensuring your skin stays soft, protected and open to going a few shades darker. So, before you run out to get some sunlight, exfoliate.. Sounds counterproductive, but the fact is that skin that has not been exfoliated for a long time is more likely to turn flaky . . . which is the exact opposite of what you want.
Exfoliate all the exposed parts of your body gently and follow it up with a mild water-based moisturizer, let it dry then layer with sunscreen.
Once you are done with your time under the sun, apply aloe vera gel as this can help the tan last significantly longer. It also soothes your skin.
2. Take occasional breaks!
We know it’s been long but don’t get carried away! Staying out for hours on end, will not give you better results. It will in fact, increase chances of skin damage.
Prolonged exposure to intense heat can leave your skin feeling a little under the weather. To minimize skin damage and still gain that summer glow, take frequent breaks in between your tanning sessions.
This will give your skin the much needed rest it needs to cool off in between rounds.
3. Shades on, straps off!
Wear strapless bikini tops or summer tops to avoid strap marks on your beautifully-tanned shoulders. Those pale straps can really spoil the look.
Tip – If you can’t avoid wearing straps, just lather on another layer of sun screen, when the sun is at its peak. This will prevent drastic tan lines to give a smooth even tan on your shoulders.
Protect your eyes and the skin around it with high quality sunglasses.
4. Be wise with when you want to tan
This is a very important aspect of tanning that is often ignored by summer skin enthusiasts all over the world.
The time that you choose to go out under the sun can play a significant role in how your skin tans and any damage that it may possibly sustain. If you would like to gain that bronze hue quickly but safely, consider stepping out into the sun early in the morning at 10 am. Then take a break from 12 to 3 and continue till 5.pm. Don’t worry, you will tan and in the best manner.
The sun is usually at its strongest during midday and 3 pm which may sound ideal for rapid tanning, but it is also a dangerous time of the day for your skin.
If you are on the lighter side and are looking to go a few shades darker, a morning tanning session is highly recommended.
5. Don’t be out too long
Here’s the science behind why long is not necessarily good.
The pigment that is responsible for making your skin darker is melanin. Melanin is produced by everyone in varying quantities and gets boosted under the sun.
The cut-off time for melanin production however is around 2 to 3 hours for every person. After 2-3 hours of continuous melanin production, the skin stops producing additional pigment. This means that after the cut-off time, chances of going darker are much slimmer.
This creates an opening for skin damage which can be detrimental in the long run. Therefore, choose how long you are going to spend in the sun and remember to take frequent breaks so your skin gets a chance to cool off.
6. Don’t wrinkle your nose at that tomato
Fruits are not only healthy and delicious to eat, they can calm down the skin and protect it from harsh UV rays. The best fruits are watermelon and tomatoes. Squeeze out some juice or tomato paste and lather it on for natural protection.
They contain a high amount of lycopene which is an essential nutrient for the skin. Tomatoes also provide an antioxidant quality that heals the skin after a heavy session in the sun.
7. Add a hydrating oil to your beach bag
There are so many gorgeous body oils available in the market with naturally-occurring SPF protection. Consider using oils such as carrot, raspberry, coconut and avocado that have a high SPF and can give your skin a boost of hydration as well as protection against the sun.
Consider a good coconut oil for tanning that can help gain that glow you are looking for!
8. Add carrots to your diet
Foods such as kale, sweet potatoes and carrots can actually help you tan without burning your skin completely. These are foods that are rich in beta carotene which has been proven to reduce sensitivity to the sun in people with photosensitive diseases.
Consider adding these foods to your diet with recipes that can be found online. The boost of beta carotene can help promote healthier skin with that glow from within. That’s better than any tan that you can get!
9. Keep changing your position
Position, tan, flip, repeat.
The secret to a good tan is allowing the sun to reach all your sides! The biggest culprit of unequal tanning is falling asleep. Sometimes, the warmth of the sun can lull you into oblivion. But be wary – he who sleeps on one side for too long, gets lousy tan!
So, keep a soft timer or alarm by your side that reminds you to flip at 15 min intervals. Result – An all over tan that looks al-naturale!
10. SPF is the way
ALWAYS wear sunscreen that has a UV protection of at least 30 SPF. If you are using tanning oil, consider using one that contains sun protection.
Make sure you apply the sunscreen liberally minutes before stepping out under the sun. A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 can block harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays but will also tan you beautifully.
Keep our tips in mind to get the best out of sunny California days and a gorgeous even tan. Lastly, sip water and keep your sunscreen handy for reapplication every 2-3 hours. After a swim, pat dry off, and re-apply. Wear a cool hat, shart shades and let the safe tanning begin!