The Dos and Don'ts of Tanning

Now that summer break is approaching, I'm seeing more and more people lying out by the pool trying to get their tan on.

I love tanning. However, it's important to keep your skin healthy by knowing the dos and don'ts of tanning.

Do: Moisturize. Especially if you're using the tanning bed or using self-tanner, use moisturizer to rehydrate your skin. Remember, tanning beds and self-tanners do nothing to protect and replenish your skin. It's up to you to do that.

Do: Wear eyewear and hats. The sun can do a lot of damage to your eyes as well as to your face. To prevent dark spots and premature aging, don't over tan your face. Use baseball caps and floppy hats to protect your face from the rays.

Don't: Drink the Bloody Mary. According to ABC News, "Lemons and celery contain psoralen, which is a photosynthesizing chemical. Just by touching them, you are making your skin more sensitive to the sun." Opt for some water or green tea instead to stay hydrated.

Do: Drink plenty of water. Speaking of staying hydrated, when staying out in the sun for long periods of time, it's important to keep your body hydrated. Water is good for your skin, so while you're getting your tan on, take plenty of water with you.

Do: Wear sunscreen all day, every day. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, "No matter what skin type you have or how your body reacts to the sun, you should always wear sunscreen containing at least SPF 30." Sunscreen also helps prevent premature aging and wrinkles!

Don't: Wax or exfoliate before going out in the sun. "Things like waxing or exfoliating, anything that causes inflammation or redness, should be done at least seven days before you go to the beach because if the skin is irritated from doing those things, you could burn more easily."

Do: Wash your hands after using self-tanner. Avoid the orange hands and scrub your hands clean with soap and water after applying self-tanner.

Don't: Use tanning beds often. Tanning beds are really dangerous, but if you must go, do it in moderation. Don't let yourself get burned and don't lay too long. Use moisturizer afterwards and then give your body some days off before going again. Also, use your eyewear. They're annoying, I know, but you'll thank me later.

Don't: Tan too long. According to Dr. Nick Lowe from Cosmo, there is a tanning cut-off point for your skin. "Everyone has their own melanin cut-off, typically two to three hours or much less if you have fair skin." Spending all day lying out by the beach isn't going to make you get tanner, but can damage your skin.

Remember to take care of your skin! Skin cancer is a real thing and the better you take care of your skin, the healthier you will be (and the younger you'll look when you get older).

 

Sources:

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/tips-summer-tanning-dos-donts/story?id=...