On the top of most girls’ summer to-do lists is getting that sexy summer glow. They want to have that radiant color and make their big debut back to school with sun-kissed skin. Because it is the summer time, there is no need to go to a tanning bed when you can just step outside and soak up some rays. We have all heard about the harmful effects of the sun and the risks of wrinkles and skin cancer. Many girls, including myself, weigh looks more heavily than the consequences, of sun exposure, especially since they aren’t apparent right away. As an avid health and fitness enthusiast, I try to find the best balance between looking good while still protecting one’s health. Here are some helpful ways to tan more safely:
1. Wear Protection
Always use sunscreen! So many girls are under the impression that they need tanning oil or lotion in order to get color. However, that is NOT the only way that they can get tan. Most people are unaware that sunscreen does not block the sun from darkening your skin. Its purpose is to block out the harmful UVA and UVB rays that penetrate the skin and lead to premature aging, wrinkles and increase the risk of skin cancer. It simply protects your skin while allowing it to tan. Note: there are some tanning lotions that have SPF in them, which is good. Typically it is a low number though. The higher the SPF, the stronger your skin’s protection is from damage.
You must always reapply sunscreen at least every two hours. Sand, sweat, and water can all cause sunscreen to wear off. So if you are in the sun for more than a couple of hours, you are still going to run the risk of getting burnt. Yes, for some people, their sunburns turn into tans. However, they are still getting damaged skin and often times, it peels off anyways. Instead, just reapply so that you can protectively tan your skin.
3. Your Holy Grail
Your face is everything. The last place that women would want to have really apparent damage such as sunspots or wrinkles at a younger age is their face. After all, that is the first thing that people look at, so protect it! It is essential to wear a hat and sunglasses to keep it out of the sun. Then, just use sunless tanner to even up the color of your face with your body. This may sound weird, but your skin losses its color the fastest anyway from shedding of skin cells each time you wash your face. That would mean you would always have to double the tanning time for your face just to make it even with your body. So not worth it! Also, another benefit of sunglasses is that they protect your eyes from cataracts, which can lead to vision complications such as blindness. Caution: sunglasses only benefit your eyes if they have UV protection! Most fashion sunglasses do not have protective lenses, so keep that in mind when buying your summer shades.
4. Lather Up
It is important to apply an after-sun lotion after you’ve been in the sun. The sun dries out your skin, which is a major contributor to premature wrinkles. By applying the lotion, you are replenishing the skin with the lost moisture. Usually, these lotions also help to make the tan last longer before it starts to fade. You can even use sunless tanning lotion in addition to the moisturizer to enhance your color even more without having to be in the sun.