Summer is here, and so is the desire to get a perfectly bronzed skin in the warmth of the sunlight. Plus, staying in the sun boosts our serotonin or ‘happy hormones’ level. Not only that, it helps our body get our daily dose of Vitamin D. Before you become all excited to slip into the bathing suit, there are a checklist of things to keep in mind to achieve a safe, healthy and long-lasting tan. Read them all below.
Always Use Protection
Before we talk tanning, let’s get one thing straight: Sunscreens are a must! The right kind of sunblock will prevent your skin getting damaged by the harmful UVA and UVB rays. Look for the word ‘broad spectrum’ and apply the lotion every 2 hours. A good sunscreen lotion allows you to get a gorgeous tan while shielding your skin.
Slather On A Tanning Lotion/ Oil
Apply some of the best outdoor tanning lotions available as they are formulated with ingredients that increase the blood flow and make skin produce melanin. A good tan accelerator lotion will help you achieve darker, faster tan that’s long-lasting. Some also have glow-boosters to enhance the sun-kissed radiance of the skin. Pick the one that suits your skin the best and you’re all good to go!
Exfoliate Gently & Regularly
If you’re a tanner, exfoliate, and exfoliate well. Make it a part of your weekly skincare routine to prevent any dead skin blocking the rays. Scrub lightly though and choose a natural option, or you can make one at home: coffee with coconut oil, oatmeal with a bit of salt and granulated sugar mixed with honey.
Understand Your Tanning Time
Everyone has their own tanning cut-off point, which basically means their body has reached a limit and can’t produce any more melanin, or tanning pigment, so there’s no point soaking up the sunlight anymore. A general cut-off is 2-3 hours, more if you have dark skin and less if you’re very fair. After this point, you’re only subjecting your skin to unnecessary UV damage.
Take A Break
There is a misconception that you’ve to be out in the sun for long time periods to get the best tan of your life. Nothing can be further from the truth. Taking a few breaks in the middle is, in fact, a better way to have a long-lasting, safe tan. Seeking some shade every hour will prevent you from sunburn risk and help you stay out comfortably for a longer time.
Moisturise both before and after the tan. The night before you plan to sunbath, slather on a generous amount of moisturiser so you wake up with silky, smooth skin. Concentrate on areas that dry the quickest as they can cause an uneven tan. After you’re out of the sun, take a bath and apply a good layer of hydrating lotion to calm your skin.
Flip Your Body
Keep your body oriented parallel to the sun rays and flip your body to get an even tan. As a thumb rule, properly sun bathe your body for 15-30 minutes on one side before flipping over. You don’t want to have too much exposure on a single side and end up with a lopsided tan.
Avoid The Sun At Peak Hours
From 10 AM to 3 PM, sun rays are the most powerful, so they will cause the maximum damage. The result is an easy sunburn and skin damage. Some people falsely assume that a sunburn will eventually fade into a tan. This is not so. Sunburn happens when the tiny blood vessels burst due to sharp sun rays. It’s nothing more than an injury on top of your tanned skin. Aim to get an outdoor tan in the morning or after 3 PM.
Eat Foods Rich In Beta Carotene
According to studies, beta carotene reduces your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, and can help you tan longer outdoors without the photodamage risk. Additionally, load up on foods rich in lycopene, skin’s own SPF, like tomatoes and watermelon. Certain antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids can also fight sun damage and can help achieve a safer tan.
Take Care Of Your Tan
Having sun-kissed skin is one thing, preserving it is another. Here are a few things to do to make your tan last long. First, apply a good after-tan lotion to seal the deal and extend the life of you tan. Second, thoroughly cleanse your skin to remove any sunscreen or sweat. Lastly, apply some aloe vera and slap a good natural seed oil, like argan, olive or jojoba.
An envious, healthy tan is just these 10-steps away. There are some risks associated with an unsafe tan, like skin irritation or cancer. So, follow the proper process religiously. You don’t have to rush into it, take your sweet time. The safe, glowing sun-kissed complexion is worth all the effort, I promise!